This was a column I wrote last Mother’s Day. This year, I’m in Washington with my husband and children. It’s funny how you appreciate days like this more when you don’t know when it will happen again. I don’t know where my husband will be next Mother’s Day, so I am going to enjoy every minute of today with him and our children. Happy Mother’s Day!!!
Mother’s Day Deployment Flashback
Giggling and paper crinkling heard next to my bed lets me know that I can now open my eyes. I’ve been awake for an hour listening to my children in the kitchen fixing what they will call breakfast. I stretch slowly and exaggerate my motions to let them think they have just woken me from a deep and peaceful sleep.
“SURPIRSE!!! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!” is yelled from inches in front of me. A plate of very crispy toast, an apple, and a bowl of cereal had been placed on my nightstand along with colorful cards and flowers picked from our yard. I’m speechless. Two bright-eyed children stand in front of me beaming with pride. I graciously say thank you and start hugging and kissing their faces until my son says, “Mom, enough already!” and my daughter thrust a card into my hands. As I look at the beautiful artwork and sweet gestures my son quickly reminds me that I have to eat my cereal because he already poured the milk. I’m then asked what I want to do. “Turn on cartoons of course”, I say with energy. The kids pile into my bed and we watch Sponge Bob Square Pants while I eat my Cheerios and carefully sneak the toast to our dogs.
After I’m done, the kids take my dishes away and ask again, what I would like to do. There is an obvious answer; I always want to spend Mother’s Day at the Beach! I send them off to change into swimsuits and gather what we will need. I close my bedroom door and go to my nightstand drawer where dozens or cards and letters are carefully stacked into two piles. One stack is “to be opened” and the other, “opened”. My husband always leaves me with these before a deployment. He labels each one with a date or Holiday that he is missing. I carefully flip through the “to be opened” pile looking at his handwriting and little pictures he drew on the envelopes and chose the one titled, Mothers Day. I sit down in a chair, draw my knees up against my chest and take a deep breath. I read the card and tried to hear his voice saying the words. It brings tears to my eyes. What he wrote is personal and thought out. You can see where he pauses, obviously having difficulty expressing what he wants to say for yet another special day he will miss. I give my self a moment then I again take a deep breath, put the card on the “opened” pile and close the drawer.
I hear more giggling. I quickly change and as I walk out of my room there are two of the most amazing kids standing with towels on their arms ready to have some fun. We spent the day lying in the sun, swimming, and building sand castles. I received many phone calls from friends and family. They want to make sure to make my day special since the husband wasn’t there. Some would say it’s a reminder that he’s gone because they wouldn’t call if he were home, but I look at it as being truly blessed to have so many people care. It’s an amazing feeling.
The night ends with carry out from one of my favorite places and snuggle time. It was an amazing day.
Mother’s Day is about celebrating being a Mom, but it doesn’t mean that it hurts any less if your husband is deployed. Take your moment if you need it, there is no shame in that. Then, look at what you DO have. Appreciate your blessings and see the good.
This year my husband isn’t deployed, but he is 3000 miles away. I am looking forward to my cereal, more than toasted toast, and my day at the beach. Even though I miss my husband terribly and the day will be lacking something, I am so grateful to have two healthy, smart, funny, and loving kids. I am blessed.
Whether your husband is home or away, enjoy your day. Do things that make you happy and cherish your time with your children. They grow up entirely too fast.
And finally, husbands, if you are reading this and just now realizing it’s Mother’s Day this weekend despite all the signs, balloons, and flower displays telling you it’s Sunday, God help you! Write it on your hand, put sticky notes in your car, do what you need to do to remember, and make it special for her.
I want to wish all the Mom’s that read my column a very Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day is filled with relaxation and happiness!!!
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