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Mobile County Public Schools: Air Force mom returns home, surprises kindergarten son at lunch
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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Air Force mom returns home, surprises kindergarten son at lunch

Posted by Rena Philips in General  |  Comments (5)

It had been nearly eight months since Staff Sergeant Christy Robinson hugged her 5-year-old son Tristan.

Dressed in a cafeteria apron over her camouflage Air Force uniform and home from a Middle Eastern deployment, Robinson surprised her kindergartener at Collier Elementary School today.

“Would you like some milk?” she asked as she walked up behind Tristan, who was seated with the rest of Sally Bailey’s kindergarten class.

“I already have some,” he said.

Stunned, Tristan looked at his mother’s face for a few seconds as it dawned on him.

She’s home.

She’s home!

Robinson hugged her son tight, picked him up and began kissing him.

Teachers, cafeteria workers and other school staff who had snuck into the cafeteria to watch the reunion, shed tears. The children, meanwhile, erupted in applause.

“It felt great to hold my baby again after so long,” Robinson said.

Robinson had video-chatted with Tristan and her 4-year-old daughter Trinity regularly while overseas.

“It’s hard to see your children and not be able to reach out and grab and hug them,” she said.

But now she can.

Robinson, who similarly surprised her daughter at daycare this morning, is home for two weeks.

She will return to Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma and will reunite with her children permanently after school breaks for the summer.

Tristan and Trinity have been staying here with their grandparents, who have taken great care of them, never missing a school meeting or function.

Robinson was here for Tristan’s first day of kindergarten at the west Mobile school. But she was deployed a few days later.

While Robinson was deployed to Qatar, working in supplies, Tristan and Trinity grew quite a bit.

Tristan read his first complete book to his mother via Skype. Now, she wants to hear him read many more in person.

On Wednesday, she watched proudly as her big boy walked his lunch tray to be washed and came back to her.

“He looks so mature,” she said.

“It feels so great to see him,” she said, beaming. “He’s got a full head of hair, so we’ll have to get a haircut.”

(To see video of the reunion, check out the Mobile County Public Schools Facebook page). 

Collier Principal Michelle Shropshire said Tristan is an excellent student who has adjusted well to his mom being gone. But he has missed her.

These are emotions that Shropshire knows well. Her son, a Marine, missed the birth of his first child while being stationed in Iraq and made it home from Afghanistan minutes before the birth of his second.

Seeing a child reunite with a military parent, she said, “is priceless.”

“Tristan was so excited to see his mother,” she said.

Tristan thought his mom was coming home Friday. But Robinson wanted to surprise her two children, so she left her base in Oklahoma Tuesday and drove 16 hours, arriving to Mobile this morning.

She plans to have a slumber party with both kids tonight, and watch "Monsters University."

Robinson, a Theodore High School graduate, grew up as an Army brat and knew she wanted to serve her country as well. She joined the Air Force 8 ½ years ago.

She talked often with her comrades about their children, sharing stories about what their kids were up to. Robinson would wake at 3 a.m. often to Skype with Tristan and Trinity before their bedtime.

To her comrades still deployed, she says: “Hang in there. You’ve got to know you’re doing what you’re doing for a reason.”

“I’m praying for you. We’re all praying for you.”


Comments on "Air Force mom returns home, surprises kindergarten son at lunch"

4/9/2014 2:16:27 PM CST

1. Victoria Sherer said...

that is so sweet!!

4/3/2014 11:10:58 AM CST

2. CONCERNED PARENT2304 said...

PRICELESS!!

4/3/2014 10:55:09 AM CST

3. Destiny said...

THIS IS THE SWEETEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!! I WISH I WOULD GET A SUPRISE LIKE TRISTAN AND TRINITY!!!! WELCOME HOME STAFF SARGENT

4/3/2014 8:23:15 AM CST

4. Christen Blake said...

I very seldom read off the websites home page unless its something about my school,but after reading the title of the article i wanted to keep reading. I read this article aloud in my class and the room was filled with watery faces and eyes. Im proud of you Tristian, you held in there now you have your mom home

4/3/2014 7:32:09 AM CST

5. Dimonique mitchell said...

WELCOME ..I KNOW YOUR KIDS ARE HAPPY THAT YOU ARE HOME WITH THEM RIGHT ...........HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT STAY AND TIME WITH YOUR ADORABLE KIDS,,,

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