Dearest Little Ones,
It’s been a few days since I’ve last heard from your dad. While, in most marriages, this would be a sign of trouble, in ours, it’s a sign of deployment.
Your dad is part of an elite group of men and women somewhere out in the ocean protecting the entire country from threats that are so important, we probably will never even hear about them here on land. As proud of him as I am, though, I know it’ll be a special challenge for you. (It’s re-defined ‘hard’ for me, Bbt I’m an adult, and spent many years living alone on my own, so I’m sort of used to my time alone.) I want you to know that your Dad’s silence doesn’t mean he doesn’t love is. His heart is here – every day. His Submariner can only send and receive messages when it’s safe for them to do so, but we’ll keep writing him every day. (And if you can’t write yet, I’ll fill him in on your behalf.)
The silence can be rough though. Even on me. That doesn’t mean I curl up in a ball and cry all day. Instead, I get out of the house and visit friends. Sure, it’s normal to cry a little and feel lonely. I miss your dad every day that he’s away. That means I love him. So this time I visited with a friend last night and we talked about way to help you through these times.
She says there is a group at school that her kids go to once a week, so they can meet and talk about other kids whose parents are away on deployments. They get to talk about how they are feeling, and just play with other kids who can identify with the pain of missing a parent. You’ll meet other kids of all walks of life. Because military families are from all over the country, you’ll meet a lot of people from different ethnic backgrounds – and I’m confident that will be a good thing to help you keep an open mind as you grow.
Some people argue that being part of a military family isn’t a good idea – due to traveling, deployments and all. It is a very different lifestyle that does set us apart a bit. The upside of your dad’s work specifically is that we don’t really have to travel. Where we’re grounded is where we’re grounded, and that’s pretty awesome. We own our house, and we have 2 dogs. It beats living on base! But even moving around can be an adventure too.
The great side of it is that we have people, LOTS of people, and resources here to help us out. From Fleet and Family Services, to the Chaplin, to access to counselors, and lots of friends and fellow Navy families to help us along the way. No matter how tough it seems sometimes, it’s very comforting to know we’re never in this alone.
No matter how long it takes to hear from your Dad though, I know he’s out there protecting us – and can’t wait to get home to us. Like most things right now, it’s just a matter of time.
We’re family, you just don’t know it yet.
All my love,