Today was a bad day.
I knew it was going to be bad.
I tried to avoid it.
I tried to fix the day,
to take it easy,
to make it a good day.
But it doesn’t matter.
No matter what I try to do,
I can’t fix it.
No matter how many new toys I buy the kids,
no matter how many fun places we visit,
no matter how many sports the kids are enrolled in,
no matter how many other distractions I come up with,
nothing will replace the big hole that Daddy’s absence has created in their little hearts.
Daddy is gone for the year, and the younger children don’t understand when he is coming home.
They don’t understand why he can’t stay with us after he comes home for R&R.
They don’t understand how long three months, seven moths, or twelve months is.
I keep trying to fix it.
I keep us busy.
I cuddle them more.
I play catch with them.
I buy them Daddy dolls,
make Daddy collages,
and give them “Daddy kisses”.
I really keep thinking that,
if only I get the formula right,
our new lives will be normal again.
But it doesn’t matter what I do.
I’m not their Daddy.
I can only be their mother.
And nothing about this year is going to be normal.
They will still be angry, violent, and mad,
because something is wrong.
Daddy is gone when he should be home.
I know it, they know it, and you can’t fool them.
You can try to make them forget,
and they might, for a short while,
but give them a moment of solitude,
and they remember their Daddy.
Everything they do reminds them of their Daddy.
Their Daddy that played catch with them;
Their Daddy that taught them how to ride a bike;
Their Daddy that played wii with them;
Their Daddy that watched them play ball;
Their Daddy that lifted them high up into the air and caught them again;
Their Daddy that snuggled with them;
Their Daddy wrestled with them;
Their Daddy read to them;
Their Daddy played with them.
One day, this deployment will be history.
The kids will have their Daddy back,
and I will have again, my best friend, my husband, the love of my life.
It will take a long while for us to adjust to being together again.
Three months will just be the beginning.
After six months, it will get easier.
I know it all too well.
Daddy will be shocked to see their behaviors.
Mommy told him: “I’m sorry. I am doing the best I can.”
But I cannot punish them too much, for calling me names.
I cannot punish them for being angry, and for losing their temper at times.
I cannot punish them for being lazy, and for not wanting to tidy up.
I cannot punish them because I know how they feel.
They aren’t trying to be mean.
They are just trying to cope, like I am.
I feel angry, lazy, tired, sad.
If I had my way,
I’d never cook,
never brush my teeth,
and never go to sleep.
Yet, we keep on going on,
day by day.
We get up, get dressed, eat a nice meal, and brush our teeth.
We keep on doing those many little things that keep the day going.
Some days are good.
Some days are bad.
One day, it will all be in the past,
and hopefully we will only remember the good things when we look back.