Today was a great day. I got a run in with my little one. My time was not anywhere near what I wanted it, but I did make it the distance I wanted to. I had her bundled up like a little burrito in blankets because the icy wind was relentless today. She did well on the run and wanted to play at the park today, so we stopped and we played for about 10 minutes, and then she started shivering. At least we both got to be outside and had some fun together, so it was a win!
My eldest daughter didn’t have to go to school today, so we were able to talk and discuss different things. I think we are a few steps closer to understanding each other because of the amount of time we were able to spend together today. We talked about a few white elephants in the room as well, which I think helped her get some things off her chest that had been bugging her. She has also been doing track and has improved greatly in running. She outran a yellow belt and orange belt at karate today, which made her karate instructor and I very proud of her.
My son also did an amazing job at karate today. His instructors believe that he learned and did the moves that they learned today better than anyone else. He was also very happy because he was picked to go to the leadership luncheon today with his school principal. He said he was picked because he always tries to help people do the right thing. I am very proud of him and happy that he wants to help others.
It was a great day for everyone, but both of my little ones broke down when we got home and wanted their Daddy. I can only imagine that most military spouses have encountered this a few times during deployments or remotes. These are the hardest moments for me to deal with. I tried the Daddy doll, but their response was that they wanted the real Daddy. I managed to get them both upstairs and ready for bed. I completely threw our bedtime routine out the window tonight. I held both of them in my lap, had them close their eyes and picture Daddy. When both of them said they could see their Daddy, we sang our moon song and they could say whatever they wanted to Daddy. We sang the moon song again after they were done talking. They didn’t say much, but they were both very calm afterward. My son went to bed and fell asleep, but my two year old still had lots of questions.
She asked if Daddy was going to come to our house. I told her that he couldn’t for a little while, but that he was in her heart always. She proceeded to try to look in her heart to find him. I had to try to explain that it was his love for her that was in her heart, and her memory and love for him. She looked at me, confused and said, “He is bigger than me.” I have to admit, I stifled a chuckle. I told her that big Daddy was in Turkey, but that his love would be in her heart always. We talked in circles for a while, but eventually she started to say, “Daddy is in my heart always,” and she smiled. Then she said, “It is dangerous.” I said yes, it is dangerous, that is why we can’t be with him. She talked for a while about this, but then said we needed to send him our light saber so that he could fight the bad guys. I tried to explain that Daddy wasn’t really fighting anyone, but found this pretty difficult for her to grasp because she kept referring back to “it is dangerous”. I finally told her that we could send him the light saber when we send him his care package. This made her very happy.
It is always amazing to me how much love we are all capable of, and it is even more fascinating to see how much love children can show, give and feel, even at a very young age. Though it is difficult to deal with, and it pulls at my heart strings every time I see them hurting and missing their Dad, it warms my heart to see how much love they have for him.
These times of separation are the most difficult times to be a military family. The ups and downs spike much more often, the stresses run much higher, and emotions can sometimes become tough to deal with, but as spouses and children, we survive. Our service becomes making it through these times of separation by holding everything together and finding the strengths we have within us. Nothing is perfect, and most of the time, it might seem chaotic, but we find the sunshine, no matter how cloudy that day may be, and we keep moving.