When Daddy got ready to go, he told Big Bro that he would be the "man of the house" while he was gone and for him to do all that he could to be extra helpful and responsible while he was gone.
Big Bro really took this to heart...
Shortly after Daddy had left, Big Bro, Little Bro, and I went to lunch.
Both boys were really missing their Daddy, but initially, it was more outwardly affecting Big Bro than Little Bro so to try to cheer up Big Bro, I let him choose the restaurant for lunch.
Big Bro chose a nice Asian restaurant, P.F. Changs, as he loves Asian food, especially the soup...
We had the start to a nice lunch, but then, I noticed that Big Bro was hardly eating a thing and was looking very sad.
Then, all of a sudden, Big Bro started to cry. He came over to me and I gave him a big hug. As he sat on my lap, Big Bro shared why he was crying...
I am not ready for that big of a responsibility...I am only a seven year old boy and am not ready to be a man...I need Daddy to be here to be the man of the house!!!
I really miss Daddy and want him to come home!!!
Tried to console Big Bro but there was little I could say other than something along the lines of
Please know that Daddy and I love you very much and that Daddy wishes he could be here, but has a job to do to help in another country and when he completes his work there, he will come back and be with our family here.
That night, the challenge of trying to be there for the boys continued as when it was time for bed, it hit Little Bro that Daddy was not there to do our nightly ritual of saying prayers, singing songs, and reading bedtime stories.
Daddy was not there to see Little Bro do his nightly shadow puppet shows.
Daddy was not there to ask us about what we had learned during the day during our time spent homeschooling, and our afternoon fun time spent going out and about and around town...
Daddy was not there to be a part of our family bedtime routine...
Little Bro began to cry and cry...he screamed that it was not fair that Daddy wasn't there to be there with us to read to us and to say our prayers, sing, and watch shadow puppets with us.
He then sobbed...and sobbed...and sobbed...
Then, by this time, Big Bro was affected and he began to cry as well...
Although I felt like crying too, I knew that what Dear Hubby is away doing is what he needs to be doing for our country, and that is a sacrifice that we need to make to be at home without him with us for the time being.
All I could do was to hug the boys, and try to change the mood by trying to get them to focus on selecting additional books.
No luck...was not working...so, as a last ditch effort, I turned on the television and let the boys choose a Netflix on Demand movie. I am not a fan of children falling to sleep with a movie, but it actually seemed to change things for the good and they both watched the movie for a few minutes before nodding off to sleep.
As I lay there, still wide awake, I started to reflect upon how much the boys love their Daddy and how much I love my Dear Hubby too.
We are so blessed to have him in our lives. We are also fortunate that his time away was relatively short in duration, although it felt much longer to us...then, I started to think of families who have Daddies (or in some cases, Mommies) that are deployed for longer periods of time.
How difficult for the spouse who stays behind to make sense of it all to their children.
How hard to put a smiley face on and to carry on day-to-day when the love of their life is overseas fighting for a cause that not everyone gets or even supports.
How hard for children to make sense of why a parent has to be away, doing something that they do not fully understand, nor do we feel at their young age we should really try to explain.
Dear hubby's time overseas "in the theater" was much shorter than some others who serve this country. We are glad that he was able to go to serve, but are very, very happy to have him back home with us now.
Our family is blessed to live in a land of freedom, democracy, and opportunity.
Thanks to all coalition forces throughout the world who work in conjunction with the USA to make this a freer, more democratic world.
Thank you, Dear Lord, for returning Daddy home safe and sound and for looking over him and the others while he was out in the theater.
We love you Daddy!!!
So glad you are home for the holidays!!!
|Card made by Little Bro for Daddy.|
|Card made by Big Bro for Daddy.|
|Big Bro having fun building with Daddy before he had to leave. Both love to build with Lego!|
|Little Bro having fun with Daddy at the playground.|
|Big Bro, Little Bro, and Daddy looking at their huge cupcake creation...yummy!|