We had told Austin before bedtime that when he woke up the next morning Daddy would already be on his way back to work for a long time. He had said that he didn’t want his Daddy to leave, but otherwise seemed ok, and jumped down to continue playing.
It was an hour past his bedtime now.
“Daddy, just go to work. You don’t like Mommy, Cade and Austin anymore.”
My heart broke as I overhead those words coming from our three old. David had been in the bedroom finishing up packing for his return to training.
Austin didn’t know that his words would sting so much. He was just expressing his own hurt because his Daddy was packing his duffel yet again.
I heard David’s footsteps stop at Austin’s doorway. I watched as David carried his little boy into the living room.
David stumbled through the tears, trying to explain to our son that he is loved so much, that his momma and his brother are loved so much too.
They snuggled for a few minutes before David carried him back to his room to tuck him back into bed with another book and another good night kiss.
When David and I crawled in bed that night, tears ran down my cheeks as his arms wrapped around me. My voice cracked and the words were barely spoken…
”I don’t want you to go.”
David kissed us all in our sleep the next morning, and we started our day without him.
Austin answered the phone when his Daddy called to check in the other night…
”Daddy, can you come home in your car? I don’t want you to go to work. I miss you.”
I pray that God guides us in our parenting as this next deployment draws closer. I pray that he gives us the words to comfort Austin and Cade as they grow to understand more and more about this military life… I pray that we continue to grow closer and stronger as a family as these separations put stress on our emotions. I pray that we always feel comfortable in acknowledging the pain of these separations, but hold tight to the love, support, and pride we have for one another.