While I can handle minimal sleep for a fairly long amount of time...that is just brutal.
We have all slept. WELL.
And awakened rested!
I know it sounds like a little thing - but I truly believe it is a miracle in our house.
It has been that much of a shock to get sleep.
The Beans have transitioned well. They miss My Love - but they aren't living in fear.
I have transitioned well - I miss My Love, but I'm not dying in loneliness.
|Long, long ago....December 2004.|
We actually learned of this separation about a year ago, but since schedules can switch (a LOT) we waited to inform the children until we were a month away from the first brief time apart - 3 weeks.
Work ups are not my favorite thing.
String Bean cried.
Jumping Bean asked if she could go play.
Bitty Bean asked for candy.
Boy Bean didn't listen.
It may seem silly to do that with children so young - but they understand more than we give them credit for. It helps them trust us - that they won't wake up one day and daddy will just be gone.
We talk about emotions and address fears
God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
When they ask me the hard questions, things like:
"Is it dangerous what Daddy does at his work?"
"Could Daddy die before he comes home to us?"
"Will I ever see Daddy again?"
I answer them truthfully.
Yes. What Daddy does is dangerous. But he is where he is supposed to be. God is taking care of him.
Yes. Daddy could die before he comes home to us - but that is true for all of us, every single day. God has given Daddy a job to do - and he needs to do it. God has given us a job to do, here, and we need to that as well.
We are planning on you seeing Daddy again! They practice and check all of the things on the boat and on the aircraft to make everything as safe as possible - so Daddy should come home to us, but sometimes the Daddies and Mommies don't come home.
Each girl (slacker mom hasn't made the boy's) has a travel size pillow case with a picture of them with Daddy screen printed on it. They can hug it, they can kiss it, they can talk to it. They are allowed to bring it around with them if they are having a hard day. It has been a great comfort to each of them. I'm sure the Boy will feel similarly once he has his to hug. Or wrestle.
We have pictures of My Love with us all around the house.
And I tell the stories of the pictures - we keep Daddy in our daily life as much as possible. In fact, even though My Love is away, whenever Bitty Bean poops in the toilet - the first person she wants to tell is her Daddy.
|I just love this picture! November 2008|
The rules don't really change
I try to keep life as normal as possible when My Love is gone - I don't want the children resenting him when he returns. So, since they don't sleep with us when he is home....they don't sleep with me when he is gone. (Unless there are extenuating circumstances)
This means there are battles we have chosen not to fight when he is home - because we knew I couldn't keep up the fight when he is gone.
|On the pier - December 2010|
Prepping children for deployment is very tricky - but not insurmountable.
Each of our Beans LOVE their Daddy.
They've adjusted to his returns with ease.
They've run to him on the pier and on the flight line.
But the weight of what their relationship looks like?
(Especially when they are young)
Rests on the parent still at home.
|Flight line - October 2012|
Which is probably why, after a recent separation, all 3 girls ran to hug Daddy....and Boy Bean punched him in the nose.