A friend of mine had her R&R 6 months ago… our husbands are deployed together and she got first leave time and I got the last. We compared notes before and after on kids, feelings and our husbands. She said the same; it’s harder when R&R is over than when the deployment all starts. We started discussing the ‘honeymoon’ period… maybe that’s why the end is harder. Before the deployment there is so much stress about packing, spending time with everyone under the sun, getting all your affairs in order… just a lot. R&R is vacation; there is fun and a lack of stress. Hubby was doing the dishes, making dinner… being overly sweet and romantic and very involved (complained CONSTANTLY about my Blackberry going off… then he admitted it’s just because he doesn’t have a phone there and it’s probably the same as when he is home) R&R is like a fairytale that you never want to end… then it does and you find yourself back at the American Airlines terminal hugging and kissing while people stare.
Even hubby noted in conversation that it seemed that the 2 weeks went by slow it was WAY harder to say “Mahalo” this time even though we have less than 100 days till this is ALL over. It’s CRAZY but true. Who knows? I do know that little Miss is my priority right now and it’s heartbreaking to see her hurt like this.
We have had a very open dialog about all of it. I feel that she understands more now and can articulate her feelings a little better. She just says that she really misses her daddy and hopes this is all “DONE” soon. She asked me why he signed up for the Army because it takes daddy’s away from their daughters. She also talked about whether or not he was coming home or if the Army and his current country were going to keep him forever. We snuggled and giggle as best we could and I put her to bed. I wanted to just cry for her but I was too angry to. I was angry that I couldn’t take it away and make it better. I have never been angry at him for following his dream; he is a Soldier and has been for much longer than he has been a husband or father. I have never said a cross word about service or our country… I am proud of his service I just wish that it didn’t take such a toll on Diva.
How do you help your kids deal with the deployment and the back and forth?