April is the Month of The Military Child.
Did you know that more than one million American children have at least one parent serving in active military?
A bit of history:
Month of the Military Child is part of the legacy left by former
Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who died March 28, 2006. He
established the Defense Department commemoration in 1986."
As a parent of two children ages 3 and 5, I am quickly learning that each deployment, is a new experience for our family.
During my Husbands first deployment I had a little boy who was 20 months old and I was 7 months pregnant with a daughter.
When my Husband returned, he returned to a Son 38 months old, and a Daughter, 15 months old.
And Although I spent hours and hours with my children watching videos of Daddy, and looking at pictures of Daddy, and talking about how wonderful Daddy is.....I was worried.
So on the eve of our family reuniting. I was concerned . I had a 7 hour drive to mull over the details, and pray that my children would hug, and cling to their Daddy welcoming him home, and their little arms would squeeze his neck, and they would smooch him on his cheeks.
That 7 hour drive, was frightening on many levels. As there was some trepidation about reuniting as a Husband and wife, a couple, a unified unit. But even more, was the reuniting as a "NEW FAMILY". We were certainly a different family than what he had left.
So when we arrived at Fort Sill, I checked into the hotel, and called my husband (who was amidst pound 119 of his out processing paperwork).
Me: "We are here"
Him: "I will be there soon"
SO I sat on the window sill of the hotel room and waited for the government van.
My children opening every drawer in the hotel, removing the Bible, playing with the phone, climbing onto the bed.
And I prayed.
The van pulled up, and I could not see my Husband clearly. Everything fuzzy behind a sheet of wetness covering my eyes.
The cell phone rings.
Him: "I am here"
Me: "I know"
And I gathered my two children, and announced that Daddy would be coming up the elevator.
I prayed some more.
We stood outside of the elevator, and listened to its slow and noisy approach up the shaft, we heard the bell, and the sound of doors.
My son, was jumping up and down and was out of his skin screaming..."Daddy is home, we missed you so much, we missed you so long!!!!" And he ran to his Daddy almost knocking this man over with his joy and exuberance.
And my daughter teetered over to her Daddy, hugging him, her face dissolved into one large smile.
Prayers were answered for me.
Thank You children.
This brings me to another point however.
My Husband is currently at a military school for 6 months. The good news is we can visit, although the drive is a little daunting and prohibitive. And paying for us to fly is very prohibitive. It is only six months, we can do this. There are new challenges for our family to face. We have a five year old son who misses his Daddy, and a 3 year old girl who sat on her Daddy's lap and cried the night before he left.
This 6 month school, will be followed by another long deployment to Iraq.
And to those on the outside I hear "Oh you will be fine, you have been through this before." And I will agree to that, however, this is a different.
A 3 year old and 5 year old require different things than my babies did. So Mom is back at the drawing board daily. Trying to maintain a level of normalcy, and sanity in our home.
I will say this, these children are becoming my heroes. They are resilient, and strong, and FLEXIBLE! They are my best teachers in this. They have adapted quickly, and I need to follow their lead at times.
I think we do need to join in celebrating our children and give them kudos.
Our Children have Brave Hearts.
*We at SpouseBuzz, would love to extend the invitation for you to join in the discussion in the comments. Thank your children and share how brave and wonderful our military children are.