A good dad’s not mission impossible

MY godson Rufus was eight weeks old when his dad went to fight the war in Afghanistan.

The morning he left he stood on the doorstep in his uniform cradling his new baby while his wife Sarah – my best friend – took photos of father and son together.

“We both knew why I was taking them,” recalls Sarah. “They might have been the last pictures Rufus would have of himself with his father.”

For six long months my friend flinched each time the phone rang. Midway through her husband’s tour of duty he returned briefly. The night he left again Sarah was bathing Rufus when she calculated it was “only another 92 bath times” before he’d be home again.

Only 92. I remembered the number this week because while I’m only on the periphery of this army family having been the bridesmaid at my darling friend’s wedding, I know these separations, these fears, are the shadow to a seemingly dashing and decorated military life.

You see, 92 is jarringly close to 110 – the number of days Tom Cruise didn’t see his daughter Suri because he was making a movie.

Read the rest of this column here.