My heart melted.
In the hustle of everyday life it’s not uncommon for families to be too busy to enjoy each other. Burn Out Kids and parents who work two or more jobs are far too common in this country. One of the decisions I’ll never regret is becoming a stay at home mom. The original plan was to stay at home only long enough till Nathaniel was in school then reenter the workforce. Life took a different turn but I don’t regret it.
My husband had his first deployment when our son was 11 days shy of 4 months. Yes, I remember exactly, how could I not?
Nine years later and our lives haven’t slowed down. If anyone thinks that the long nights and weeks away end when the soldier comes home they’re mistaken. In the five years my husband was ‘home’ since our son was born it was often spent in the field; sometimes a month at at time.
Redeployment takes months; they tell you three. Equipment has to be flown back in and recovered. Classes on how to re-acclimate yourself to family life taken. Doctors appointments and 24hr duties and a whole slew of obligations by the soldier eat away at precious time that would rather be spent with their family.
And yet the best times weren’t the 30days of leave but the little things we often miss out on.
I awoke today with my son joyfully telling me “I’m waiting for Daddy to wake up and make breakfast.”
It seems so simple. Something my son should enjoy everyday and not look forward to as a treat. And yet if my son wants to see his father before evening he has to wake up before 5:30. And he does so far too often. And he’s the first to welcome him home. A scream of “Daddy!” will ring out and a 9yr old will practically fly though the living room before literally clinging to his father.
Our son practically beams as the words, “Hey, buddy” slip past my tired husband’s lips.
And I cherish every moment that they spend together even if they don’t. Because all too soon the phone will ring and my husband will have to work the weekend. And my son will follow his father to the door looking as if all the light in his life has gone out. And the words, “When is Daddy coming home?” and “Can you call to check on Daddy” will assail my ears yet again.