A Sailor’s Daughter


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    My daughter is a Daddy’s girl. She is a pixie of a girl who turned six this year. She is my mini me. She walks like me, talks like me, and looks like me. On some days it scares me to death and on other days I find nothing but laughter and joy. My Husband is already worried about boys, dating, and the thought of her growing up. She has my eyes and stubbornness. She is a handful on every level. I can only blame myself. This little girl follows her Dad every where. She asked to go with him on his most recent deployment, explaining that she could be his “helper”. She talks about her Dad every day. She draws pictures, writes notes to him and asks over and over, “when will Daddy be home?” But the other night, this little girl who turns my world upside down on a daily basis made me speechless.

 


 

 

 

I go in to check on her like I do every night. It’s late, my nine year old son is sound asleep and I find my daughter holding her “Daddy Wish Bear”. She has a few stray tears running down her face. I ask if she is OK.  She says, “No”. She then puts her hand over her chest and says, “Mommy, there is something wrong with my heart.” I asked, “What do you mean? Are you OK?” She replies,” I was wishing with my Daddy Bear and Daddy makes my heart “beep(She says beep, instead of beat.) really fast and it hurts.” I asked her again where it was hurting, and she said that her heart “moved up” and it hurts. She was pointing to the base of her neck. My eyes swelled up and I too had that feeling. I realized that she was talking about the feeling you get when you are “all chocked up”. Your chest and throat tighten and you physically hurt. She said that she couldn’t make it stop. I explained that her heart hurts because she misses her Dad, and that when we love someone so much, it’s hard to be apart. “I don’t like it”, she replied.

I offered to sing to her and rub her head, promising that the pain would get better if I did. So, I sang to her our own version of “You are my Sunshine” and she fell right asleep. I couldn’t hold back the tears once I knew she was asleep.  I hadn’t really cried since my husband deployed.  I’ve been too busy to cry.  But this moment knocked me right out of my safe place and into reality. I sat on her bed that night questioning the life we have and how my little girl who is only six knows what heartache feels like.  I know that there are other Mom’s who have questioned the very same thing. This is one of the hardest parts of deployments for us as Mothers. We can’t stand it when something is hurting our children and we can’t fix it.  We can be a positive influence. We can distract our kids and keep them busy. We can love them with all our heart, but at the end of the day we can’t stop the heartache. We can only console them and tell them how much they are loved, missed and adored. I know that my husband is doing the right thing by serving.  He loves his job and I support him whole heartily. But, I won’t sugar coat it. Even though most days are great, some days are near unbearable.

8 thoughts on “A Sailor’s Daughter

  1. Army Brat,

    Thank you so much for your comment, and thank you for your service as a military child. I hope she is as caring as you are!
    I hope you continue to read my blog and share your experiences!

    Warm Regards,

    M

  2. I know what is like to feel that heartache and not know what it means.

    Tell your daughter that it hurts and that she will never forget what her father is doing for his country becuase of that ‘hurt’.

    tell her that she will be an amazing girl

    -an army brat-

  3. Hey Trina!

    Yeah, it never really gets easier but you adapt.
    Mo’s going to be fine, she has a wonderful Mom. : )
    AND Zach & Kay will be there for her and Ollie.

    I’m hoping to be house hunting in the next 4-6 months near you!!

    Miss you guys!

  4. Marie,

    That is so sad! This is definitely one part of deployments that I am not looking forward to once Gabe goes back out to sea. Mo will be 5 when he goes back to sea duty. She has a hard enough time now when Gabe is on swings and she doesn’t see him for a week.

    Tell Kay that she is a very brave little girl and that in a couple of years hopefully she can help keep Mo’s head up too when her daddy has to go back out to sea.

    I hope you guys are doing well and hope that we are able to get together again soon!

  5. zhappyhomemaker,

    I think that is a wonderful thing to say to your kids. : )
    You are a good Mom!

    I will tell her. . .

    Thanks so much for your comment.
    I hope you enjoy my blog. 🙂

  6. What a beautiful and sad story. Your daughter sounds precious.

    I tell my children that I appreciate their sacrifice on MY behalf, as a citizen! They are so brave and so…noble handling being apart from their daddy for the safety of others.

    Please tell your little girl that there is a lady who appreciates very much her sacrifice. (your son, too!)

  7. Aimee,

    Thank you so much for your comment. It means a lot to me. We too have done the recorders and The Husband makes videos for the kids as well. And you are right when you say we have come a long way. E-mail is WONDERFUL! Both of the kids get their own emails from Dad. And even though we go months without those, it’s still a great thing. And we use a web cam when he is in a port. The kids love it, I find it so hard to see him and not be able to touch him. It’s very bitter sweet. And we have a map, which is always fun b/c until he enters a port, we only have a “guess” of where he could be, so the kids make up there own paths and stories.
    And those good ole paper chains never go out of style! ; )
    We take one off every morning.

    Again, thank you so much for the kind words.

    Thank you for sharring you thoughts and experiences.
    I believe that Military Children are the bravest of all.

    Much love,
    Maire

  8. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the wife of a sailor, but I know what it’s like to be the daughter of one.

    She will miss him, but there’s a lot you can both do to make the memories sweet. I still have every post card & letter Daddy sent me during his deployments. Sometimes (as I’m sure you know), it would be months between receiving them, and then they’d come in a flood. His letters and cards always had Cdr. Daddy (or whichever rank he sported at the time) at the top of the return address. Before one particularly long deployment, he read all of our favorite stories and sang our favorite songs into the tape recorder so we could have him “tuck us in” every night. I see now that deploying parents are doing this via web cam and video camera – what a long way we’ve come! I still remember tearing a link off the paper chain that ran around the world map in the den each night. We’d put a pin in the map every time we got to talk to Dad or got a letter from him.

    I hate to see my kids hurting, too. I know it’s so hard. But as a grown daughter of a Navy Dad, know that in the long run, she’ll just be so proud of him she could burst, and it will make the times she does have with him all that much sweeter. No one appreciates their Dad like someone who misses him for months (or more) at a time.

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