My husband and son are pretty close. They have daily rituals together, such as bath time and story time.
Weekly rituals include haircuts and lollipops.
Father and son bonding time was recently interrupted by a two-week TDY (temporary duty) that my husband had to go on.
There really is no way to adequately explain to a two-year old that his “Dada” is going to be gone for two weeks. After my husband left, my son often knocked on doors in the house, looking for his “Dada.”
I tip my hat to single parents. When my husband left, I had to temporarily take over my husband’s duties in addition to my own. I had to struggle to find babysitters and basically hold down the fort alone.
The good thing is that my husband was able to call and talk to us pretty regularly on the phone. My son would take the phone and walk around the house, babbling to his “Dada.”
I was pretty excited about my husband coming home this past weekend and I had been telling my son all week, “Dada’s coming home. Dada’s coming home!”
He would laugh and keep on playing.
On the day of my husband’s return, I constantly talked about “Dada.”
Despite my efforts to prepare our son, I wasn’t prepared for our son’s response.
When my husband pulled up in the garage, I told him, “Dada’s home, Dada’s home!” However, our son was more interested in watching “Brainy Baby” and learning alphabets than saying hello to his Dad.
Throughout the day, he clinged to me like static and was kind of cautious around his Dad, as if he was someone new. It really was strange because my husband has gone TDY before and our son didn’t act like that.
We went out to eat together and our son didn’t want to get in the car unless he saw me getting in too. When my husband resumed bath time duties, our son cried for me.
Good thing my husband didn’t take it personally. He understood that sometimes, there is a reacquaintance period when you leave for long periods of time.
Each day is getting better and our son is opening up more and more towards his “Dada.” But that leads me to the next thing…
Dear hubby will be deploying soon.
I wonder how our son will act when he returns? Thankfully, it will not be a long deployment, but long enough for me to definitely call on Jesus for help as I become a single mom for a couple of months.
The two-week TDY was a test run and I think we will be able to cope and manage okay. I will have to get out of my comfort zone and ask others for help a lot more than I’m used to, but that’s the route life takes you down sometimes.
Here is my question for today… how do you help your children adjust to deployments and the return home? Our son is just two, so if you have any tips for young children, it would be nice.
Oh yeah, and while you are at it, we would appreciate your prayers as we go through this transition that many military families face on a regular basis.
Have a blessed day!