I remember when a few days away from my husband almost were impossible to get through. After basic training, raider focus, NTC and a year-long deployment, a few days is usually no problem. Of course, I miss him when he’s not around, but I no longer stop functioning or sink into a deep depression.
Still, there is something about the first week your husband spends away from your daughter that really tugs at the heartstrings. I may be getting used to occasionally living life without Josh, but our daughter definitely is not. At 4 months old, she’s already so enamored with her daddy that she looks to the door repeatedly at lunchtime, watching for him to come home. And if he’s not home from work by 6, she’s a fussy mess.
Well, he wasn’t home by 6 on Monday. In fact, he hasn’t been home all week, since he’s a driver for the JRTC leadership course in Louisiana. You can imagine how my week has been. Anastasia hasn’t adjusted well to daddy’s absence. Of course, my baby is an abnormally happy one. Fussing just isn’t her style — until dad leaves for a week, that is.
There’s a part of me that is just hoping she’ll quickly adjust the way I have. I hope that as preparations for the Afghanistan deployment keep her dad away for weeks at a time, she’ll learn to love him as much as possible when he’s here and to find ways to stay happy while he’s away. Then there’s another part of me that doesn’t want that at all.
It feels wrong to want my daughter to get used to her dad’s absence. He’s a great dad, and she should miss him when he’s away. I feel torn between these two sides: one that logically understands the duty her dad is doing and the worthwhile sacrifice of a military family, and one that selfishly wants Anastasia to have a dad who can kiss her every night before she goes to bed.
In the end, I’m really left with little choice. Anastasia’s daddy is a soldier, and that means she too has to pay the price for our American freedoms, even if she doesn’t understand them yet. And while I understand that millions of children have gone through the same things before her, this is my baby and our first time, so it’s still a difficult reality to face.