An elementary school student in National City definitely knows what he’s thankful for this holiday season after a special luncheon reunited his family.
Xavier Smith sat in the Lincoln Acres Elementary School cafeteria next to his friends who were joined by their parents for the school’s annual Thanksgiving Luncheon.
The 11-year-old said he was thankful for his family, but he wished his mother was there with him.
PO1 Darsheen Smith has been aboard the USS Boxer for the past eight months – that is, until Thursday when she stepped off the ship and into Lincoln Acres Elementary School.
Darsheen Smith flew home early to surprise her oldest son for the holiday lunch at his National City school.
“I don’t know how I’m going to react when I see him. I don’t know if I’m going to cry or faint, but I just can’t wait to see him,” Darsheen Smith told NBC 7. “You know, the last time I touched him, kissed him, smelled him. It was pretty rough that morning.”
The petty officer walked into the cafeteria to a round of applause while her son sat at a table, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open.
The two cried together in a long hug in front of his fellow classmates. They had not hugged each other in eight months.
“It was a little rough, especially being away from my boys,” Darsheen Smith said. “I’m just thankful to be home. Not everybody can say that.”
Xavier Smith’s great aunt, Diana Smith, told NBC 7 about the homecoming Wednesday.
She said Darsheen Smith was on her way home from Hawaii, and the family couldn’t wait to be together again.
Diana Smith told her great nephew that she wasn’t able to the attend the luncheon as a cover-up and also surprised Xavier Smith with his mom at the elementary school.