We put off telling our children about my husbands upcoming deployment for a lot of reasons. The main one being we had hoped they could have a somewhat normal life during this school year. That we could all enjoy our holidays ,birthdays,anniversaries, & milestones together without a deployment cloud hanging over our heads. Tonight that "fake" reality came crashing down for my kids & it broke our hearts. I literally have an ache in my chest & what feels like a rock in my stomach.
I fixed a huge family meal of two different pastas,garlic bread,salad, comfort foods.I had fun setting the table with my youngest even though I knew what was to come at the end of our last "normal" family dinner.Nothing would be normal again for the next 15 to 16 months until their dad returned from Afghanistan the latest deployment .We waited for everyone to eat then I lead into the conversation.I explained that daddy was told he had another trip to go on soon. I could immediately tell from the look on my older boys faces they knew what I meant before I could say the words "it's a long trip again, not a short trip .". My husband went on to say he had to go to Afghanistan this time for twelve or so months & did they have any questions. My second oldest put down his fork jumped up in tears & fled the table to the privacy of his room. My huge almost 13 year old made me almost loose it in front of the other three with his raw show of emotions.We knew he & our youngest would take it the hardest but I hated breaking his heart- it hurts my heart.
The younger two raised their hands like they where in school & asked those innocent questions that reminded us they really have no idea of the dangers that could come from another deployment. All they wanted to know was "Is daddy going be here for my birthday?". We had to two tell two of the children he would miss their birthdays again- the third year in a row for our ten year old. But explained he should be home for the other two birthdays to celebrate. Once again , it broke my heart as our ten year old said "that's ok mom, we can still have a party". I told him of course & if daddy could he would watch everything on SKYPE.The younger ones had forgotten what SKYPE was so we reminded them of how daddy watched them open Christmas presents last time he was in Iraq. Then they where happy & had a few more questions.My oldest stayed pretty quiet which I expected it takes him awhile to process things & I know in his own time the tears will come.
It's a conversation we put off as long as possible but we are so deep into pre-deployment now there was no way to prevent it a day longer.It breaks our hearts because my husband/best friend, their dad hasn't even been home a year yet from Iraq. We all understand this is his job & we are blessed to have him able to provide for our family. But it doesn't make it any easier to know we are going to send him off to war again for another year. Another year with out hunting,wrestling matches in the living room,fishing lessons,& hugs before bedtime.Another year of me having my cell phone permanently glued to my hand,no sleep, dark circles under my eyes,& worry like some people will never feel in their life. Worry that I would never wish on another human being.
I feel better now that the kids know & we aren't hiding it through covert conversations. But now the real test comes into play of enjoying every moment we have left before he leaves with out sadness attached-now that is a challenge I hope I can handle. Because at the moment the tears seem to come at a drop of a hat.
I saw this earlier today & will try to remember it in the upcoming year.
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable & sad, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.So I will choose to be HAPPY.....
Now the song for the week just popped into my head. It wasn't my original choice, but now that the cat is out of the bag it fits my mood. Head on over to Goodnight Moon to link up your song choice of the week. Here is a little Sarah McLachlan to go along with my mood today.Thanks for stopping by have a blessed day.