After nearly three years as a military spouse, I’ve grown accustomed to life without family around. I came from a very close-knit family — you know, the kind where grandma phones over when she sees a car she doesn’t recognize in the driveway from across the highway. That means it took me a while to get used to this more independent way of living.
Now, since our new baby, Anastasia, arrived, it seems our house is a family hotel with a constant rotation of close friends and family. But we’re in a lapse right now. For the first time since Anastasia was born, it has been just the three of us: Josh, our baby girl and me. Of course, by the time you read this, my mom will have returned along with a close friend and her baby boy to stay for another week.
But these past couple of days, in between visits, I’ve noticed something I may have missed without the absence of family.
My husband is amazing. Truly, he’s shown himself to be a fantastic father in the first week we’ve been home. He’s affectionate and willing to help at all times, most often without my asking. I think he’s changed more diapers than I have, despite his pre-birth assurances that he wouldn’t be changing any at all. It’s clear he’s fallen in love with his daughter and that she’s already crazy about him.
Of course I love that, but with life in the military I can’t help but let my mind travel to darker times when my daddy’s girl will have to see her daddy off to Afghanistan, or even next week when he’ll be leaving for a field problem. I thought the idea of separation was hard before, but now, thinking about poor baby Anastasia going any amount of time without her doting father is just heartbreaking.
But her dad’s commitment to the military is part of what makes him such a great man and part of what will make her respect him so much, I’m sure. Someday she’ll understand the heroism of all our military because of her father’s service, and that’s probably one of the most valuable things he can teach her.