Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants

I know we are not special. We share the burden of a deployed father and husband with thousands and thousands of families across the world. Yet, very selfishly, I feel like it is particularly unfair for my children. It's not that I feel a sense of entitlement, that we should be spared the pain of separation when others have done it longer and more frequently.  I'm not saying we shouldn't have to endure it.

It's that I have to look into the watery eyes of my children and explain each and every day why Daddy is not home and it breaks my heart. Why he can not be here for birthdays, holidays and their Clone Wars weekend cartoon marathon.

Daddy always makes pancakes on Saturday mornings so I can sleep in. It's a ritual I started last deployment and have since passed that early morning baton to my husband who in turn pretends to grumble and groan about being a slave to small children each and every Saturday. He loves it and so do they, secretly triumphant in their power of persuasion over their father.

I hate stepping in and having to replace him. I'm not good at it and it's why he's the Dad and I'm the Mom. I don't do cool tricks on the trampoline and frankly after ten minutes I feel like a chain smoker and my toosh is sore for a week from the *ugh* exertion.  Don't judge me, it's really hard (that's what she said) and the kids bully me to keep jumping until I cry Uncle.   I have no one to tag in.  It's just me and my sore butt.

I can't make paper airplanes that fly like Daddy.  I'm not fluid in Star Wars speak and I definitely have no skills in the Lego repair factory that is our playroom. H literally super glued some of G's larger Lego sets for fear they would break and I couldn't repair them during his absence.  I don't think ahead like he does.

I can't throw them in the air as high and little miss Prim notices that she can't touch the ceiling when I do it.  I also don't have the same stamina.  My husband has the energy and endurance of a ten year old in his pinkie finger alone.

I shouldn't have to be their everything.  They should have the best of both of us, the balance that we bring to each other.  They are learning so early that loss can be messy, even the temporary loss that deployments bring.  Sometimes I feel incredible guilt.  Especially for Prim.  Every time he goes away she regresses.  Emotionally she goes back to that place where life is not safe and the earth no longer spins around our home but is extended to a place across the world that is not tangible or understandable.  Iraq may as well be a fairy tale land far, far away.

It breaks my heart to hear G say that he wishes there were people in the world who don't need Daddy's help anymore.  But then, at night when we kneel to say our prayers, I know that God is working a miracle in our home because he prays:

Dear God
Please help Daddy to do a good job.
Keep him safe and his soldiers safe (still doesn't get that Daddy is a sailor :)
and help him to be a good example
to everyone around him.
Please help everyone in Iraq to see you
so that they can find peace.
Lord, be a light to my Daddy.

My kids are wiser than me because they see God without tarnished self imposed glasses.  While I scream unfair!! for the sake of my children, God sees fit to give them early, precious lessons in humility, mercy and grace.  While I pray that they are too young to carry such a burden, God responds firmly that they most certainly are not.  He has seen fit to develop them in this way for His divine purposes.

And I may not see why now.

Or ever.  But take comfort in the fact that He does.

Let me carry your burden He whispers.  Come to me as a child He beckons.   Cast your worries on Me.

To all of the men and women serving this nation and the cause of freedom throughout the world-I thank you and pray for your safe homecoming.

For the families who serve just as honorably at home, here and abroad, I thank you for being an inspiration and comfort to me.  May God use this time to bless you and grow you in deeper fellowship with Him.

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