January 28, 2012

On the Bad Days

I've been on hiatus for a while because there have been no words. Until now. This event happened several days ago.

"N, grab the milk from the fridge and then set your place for me please?" I ask my son. 

It's just us now, me and the kids. My husband got on the plane a few days ago. The plane that I hate. The plane that takes the father of my children, the love of my life, and my best friend into uncertainty and danger. The plane that takes half of my life as I know it away.

My son hands me the milk carton and I fill his glass.

"What land is Daddy in again?" He asks. As I stir our dinner on the stove I absently but patiently respond to his question even though we've been over this at least a hundred times. There is a pause, and he looks up at me as his eyes fill with tears.

"Mommy, are the bad guys going to kill my Daddy?"

My hand stops stirring, our food immediately becomes an after thought. My brain searches quickly for the right answer, for any answer as I squat down so I am eye level with my little boy. I struggle for composure. I don't want to lie, but I can't tell a 5 year old that it is a distinct possibility. 

"God is watching over Daddy and will protect him because He knows how much we miss Daddy. Ok?" I hug N hard. His innocent and trusting eyes clear as he nods his head.

The answer seems to be good enough. For now. I breathe a sigh of relief as my comforted child goes on his way to set the table for the dinner I am no longer hungry for. As soon as he is out of sight I let the tears fall and curse the reason my son is asking such a grown up question.

I've underestimated my child. He understands much more of this than I've given him credit for. His fear is the same as mine, and I saw at that moment how brave my little boy really is.

It's days like this, that I really hate the military. I hate that my child has to suffer that fear and uncertainty. It breaks my heart that no matter how much I try to shield my son from this, I just can't. For a moment I resent the fact that my child doesn't have the carefree childhood he deserves.

This is uncharted territory for us. I just hope to bring my son through this as best as I can. I will cry my tears into my pillow so he can cry his on me.

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