As BJ tucked in his six year old daughter, he couldn't help but smile at her choice of bedtime stories. She was particularly fond of this made up story, The Man on the Moon. Given the subject manner, he wasn't quite sure of how far to take it, but being with Erin for some time allowed him to know her well, a feeling he'd missed sorely when he was in Korea.
The man on the moon went for a walk. He was wearing his silly hat that caused all sorts of silly troubles for him, but it still made him very happy to wear it every day. He decided to go fishing one day,
"Erin, do you remember when we went fishing when Daddy came home? We had such a good time, you, me and Mommy. But we found a special place where only little children- and Daddys- could catch the biggest fish in the pond. And it worked! Do you remember how excited you were when you caught your first fish? Yes, you had a little help from Daddy, but it was all you. All you!"
Anyways, the man on the moon went fishing. As usual, he found all sorts of trouble.
"Yes, Erin...I think they do have water on the moon. It hasn't been proven, but if Daddy says so, is that good enough for you? Okay. Great."
The man on the moon got caught in his fishing pole's line. That caused him to almost fall in the pond. But he didn't, and he went back to his fishing. He knew he could be alone to do some thinking.
"Yes, Erin. Just like Daddy likes to think when he's fishing, so does the man on the moon. You do too? That's my girl!"
Anyways he got to thinking about his friends. His friends weren't with him- they lived on Earth. But he thought about them every day and all of the fun they used to have when they were together. They always made him laugh, and boy, did he love to laugh. That's what his friends on Earth remember best about him.
"You love to laugh too? Maybe I have you mistaken for the man on the moon! No...Okay, Erin. You're right. Daddy's just being silly."
He had a best friend. His name was Hawkeye.
"Yes, Erin, just like Uncle Hawkeye! He was lots of people's best friend. Is he your best friend? No, Daddy is? Just checking!"
They would do lots of things together when they were together. The man on the moon smiled, thinking about how silly his friend Hawkeye was. They both loved to laugh, they both enjoyed telling stories, and they both liked to make people feel better when they were hurt.
"That's right sweetie! Just like Daddy!"
And the man on the moon had another friend. His name was Radar. He was a sweet, nice young man. He even had a teddy bear!"
"That's right, just like Mr. Snuggles! Sometimes it's okay for grown men to have teddy bears. Daddy doesn't have one, but he has you and Mommy."
Anyways Radar wanted to be just like the man on the moon. He tried, but pretty soon he learned that you can only be yourself.
"That's right, honey. That's what Daddy always tells you. It makes me happy that you're paying attention!"
But one day the man on the moon decided to go for a ride. He decided that he wanted to go to the moon.
"How did he get there? My, so many brilliant observations Erin! How do you think he got there?"
"A bike? That sounds nice. Maybe he rode his bike all the way to the moon!"
Anyways his friends were a little sad, because they missed their friend. But sometimes when the sky's real dark and the stars shine so brightly they can look up and see the man on the moon, he's smiling at them. And his friends were happy because they knew one day they'd join him on the moon, and the three of them would go fishing together. And the man on the moon smiled down, and he knew that he could hardly wait.
"Erin...you sure like that story! Do you remember who told you that story first? Uncle Hawkeye, that's right! But I'm glad you like it, and before you go to sleep tonight, let's look out the window and see if we can see the man on the moon smiling on us. There we go, let's get your curtain out of the way. There he is...you see him too? Oh boy, aren't we lucky! Yes, let's call Uncle Hawkeye tomorrow and tell him who we saw. I'm sure he'd like that."
As BJ tucked his daughter in, he closed his eyes, thankful for the time he had with her. As a physician, he worked crazy hours during the day, but at bedtime Erin was all his. And he wouldn't have it any other way.