Saying bye to Daddy

3 May

This is our first deployment with children old enough to understand what is happening (6 and 4) and I was not real sure what to expect the day Daddy left. One thing was for sure, I wasn’t expecting to have my heart break watching them watch him walk away.

I knew I needed to be strong and positive for them. My husband said to me before we left the house “if you cry, they will cry.” Actually I’m not really one to cry when I say goodbye to him. Sure I hate to see him go and it makes me sad, but in actuality I’m very proud of him and excited he gets to do what he has been trained to do. The tears come to me after a hard day when I just wish he was home to help and to hold me!

I woke up the day my husband was to leave feeling unsure and nervous for the kiddos. How would they react? How was I going to comfort them? What will they be thinking? How can I get them to open up and share their feelings and fears? So many questions with no real answers.

We dropped Daddy off at work and said a quick goodbye. Everyone gave him extra hugs and kisses! We climbed in the car and watched as he walked away. Once he rounded the corner and gave us one last wave I felt my heart give way as I looked at my children. Heads hung, frowns drooped, and low voices saying they miss Daddy already. Pow! Shot to my heart! I wasn’t prepared for it, but now I look back and wonder if any parent is really ever prepared. I reacted with distraction, a trip to the Exchange for a new movie then to the park for a picnic. It helped and the kiddos and I had a great day of doing something fun while also discussing Daddy’s trip away, the positives and negatives.

Now that we are a week into the deployment I can look back and smile and laugh at what my kiddos said those first few days. Reading these statements doesn’t enable me to truly understand their way of thinking, but it helps.

  • The morning Daddy left my daughter woke up and immediately told me “I don’t like this day.”
  • After we got home from taking Daddy my son told me “we can sleep in your bed tonight so you aren’t sad because Daddy isn’t in bed with you.” Such a sweetie!
  • We have all said many times “I miss Daddy.”
  •  “I feel sad” was said a lot.
  • “I need to talk” was our code word for when they needed to take a break and cuddle with Mommy and talk about Daddy. It really helped when they started to feel sad but couldn’t really communicate themselves.
  • My son said this the night Daddy left and it really hit me, “I know Daddy is gone keeping the country safe, but I don’t feel safe with him gone.”
  • Next he wanted to know what would happen if someone broke into the house. I said I would protect him. His response, “I don’t know, you’re a girl.” Thanks son! 🙂
  • While sitting in “The Man of The House Chair” (AKA Daddy’s chair at the table) my son said “oh wait, I have to behave like a man in this seat.” He sat up a little taller and ate very proper.
  • The Man of The House Chair also requires us to have conversations like I would normally have with Daddy. I was instructed to ask my son “how was your day” then share with him how my day was. 🙂 Such a little Daddy.
  • Just the other day my daughter came to me and said “I miss Daddy’s voice because it is really nice to me.”
  • Daddy leaving has opened up a lot including a famous “Mommy, I miss Daddy” reason to get out of bed a few times after Mommy tucks them in. An excuse for all of us to give a few more hugs. 🙂
  • Lastly, one of my favorites! My daughter told me “Daddy is really nice because sometimes he says yes when I ask for ice cream.” I think this was a hint for me to offer ice cream after dinner.

Nothing fills your heart with more joy and makes you smile more than listening to what a child has to say. They are so honest and open. They will tell you how they see it and wonder why you start to smile or laugh. I just wish I could remember all the little one liners my kiddos say! Sure would make for a great book!

Communication is Key, right?!? I will continue to talk, talk, talk to the kiddos and ensure they express any emotion they may have. As for me, thankfully I have some great spouses who are either right there with me or know the drill and know how and when to say what needs to be said!

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3 Responses to “Saying bye to Daddy”

  1. Michael Larson May 4, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    Excellent post! Superb writing skills (I think you learned it from me). I really like the “I don’t know, you are a girl” line!

    Love you!

  2. Kelly Larson, MBA May 4, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    ~Facebook Comment~ Kelly, great job! But u keep making me cry and I’m not one who cries over stuff.

  3. Kelly Larson, MBA May 4, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    ~Facebook Comment~ Fantastic article Kelly. The comments from the kids were very special.

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