Last week my parents had a few out-of-town family members visit. I was glad to hear that they had an enjoyable time. But I was just as glad to hear that they revived a family tradition.
As a teenager, I got a frog (stuffed animal) that we named Greeney. (Clever, eh?) I thought it would be funny to hide Greeney in unexpected places, where my mom would find him. The first place, I think, was in the refrigerator.
She thought it was funny, and she started to play along. Whoever found him last would hide him in a new place for the other to find. Greeney hid under our pillows, in our shoes, in our closets, and in drawers.
And one time he hid in a care package that my mom sent to me while I was deployed.
I had just arrived at my deployed location, and I was meeting the people that I’d work with on a daily basis. I remember being a little nervous, since I was one of the most junior-ranking members there, and I was trying to make a good impression.
A fellow military member called my name and handed me a care package. I was so excited! I knew immediately it was from my mom. I opened the care package, and there, among other things, was Greeney!
One of the senior officers turned his head to look over at me and said, “What’s with the frog?”
I turned red as I explained, “Oh, it’s an inside joke from my mom.”
I’m glad she sent it, though. It made me smile, and it was nice to have something that reminded me of home.Here’s Greeney, on my bed during the deployment. Notice my mom put him in a somewhat camouflage-looking get-up. Since then, Greeney has traveled back and forth from my house to my parents’ house, usually through the mail in birthday packages. A few of Greeney’s friends, like Kermit, have made a permanent home at my parents’ house. So, when my aunt, uncle, and cousin visited my parents last week, they renewed our “hide-a-frog” tradition. My mom included the proof in one of her e-mails, which made me smile. Though I can’t speak for the frogs (especially Kermit, who was clearly having a private moment), I think our family was happy to be reminded of this tradition.