the deployment talk

We sat down last night with the girls for the official deployment talk.  Ugh.

We hadn’t made any effort to hide it, but we hadn’t told them, either.  At their ages, it didn’t make any sense to tell them 6 months out.  They can’t understand that kind of time frame.  Lately, though, Cate has been asking a lot of questions and making statements along the lines of “Is Dad not going to go away?” or “Are you going to leave me in America, Mom?” or “We will be best friends, Mom, and you’ll never go away.  I love you.”  She’s no dummy, and she realizes something’s going on.  Better to give her the facts.

It went about how I expected it to go.  Meg understood it was something to be sad about (probably from Cate’s reaction) but was easily distracted by the positives we discussed (going to visit family.)  Cate started to sob immediately.  She sat on Chris’ lap and told him she didn’t want him to leave.

We talked about her friends’ dads who have had to deploy, and how they were gone for a little while, then they came home again.  She managed to shout out through her tears, “And she MISSED him!” each time we mentioned a friend who has had a dad deploy.

My heart broke for the girls.  I know there’s not much I can do to make the hurt go away.  I’m here for them, and I will continue to be.  That doesn’t really make it any better that dad is gone for 6 months.

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5 Responses to the deployment talk

  1. Sara says:

    My heart is breaking for you all.

  2. Gretchen says:

    I remember when we had that talk with Thomas. He said very little and then got on his glider horse and started rocking madly. For a long time. I thought, “If Jeremy wasn’t such a GREAT dad, then this wouldn’t be such a big deal!” It is stinky, but you’ll all get through it!!!!

  3. Cassandra says:

    Ugh. I didn’t even want to click on this post because I knew it would be gut-wrenching. But Gretchen is right, you WILL get through this. Is this Chris’s first deployment, ever? The first one is the HARDEST one. Lots of unknowns, and it gets maddening. I am here if you have any questions/concerns. I’ve done three and will do another in June.

    The AF has lots of great resources and events for folks of deployed service members. I even own two children’s books about deployments! I would recommend them for you, but they are about C-130s, which Im not sure applies here.

    Let me know if you need ANYTHING!!!! There is lots of support out there for families. I can use my Key Spouse super-secret connections to find out anything I can for you 🙂

  4. Carol says:

    You know first hand how hard these are on the family. You have had to do too many of them with Dad. Is is hard because Chris is so involved with the girls and is such a wonderful father. We are all here for you. I also know there is only so much others can do to lessen the worry and nothing we can do to stop all of you from missing each other. I will do what I can – that’s what Mothers and “Drammys” are made to do.

    Mom

  5. Laura says:

    We are here for you, too. Anything we can do, we will. Hopefully, the time will pass faster than we think it will.

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