Last time was really hard because the communication there was horrible... he would try to Skype with the kids and the connection would freeze or drop completely which made Kennedy very upset. She didn't understand anything except that she wanted to see her daddy.
This time, we've been told, the communication will be good. It's well established. I am praying this is true because it makes things so much easier. I am thankful for communication, for technology. I think often about the Army wives before me, in the days of the World Wars, the Korean war and even Vietnam when they eagerly awaited letters... sometimes coming weeks apart. Never knowing if their husband was alive, or hurt, until long after the fact. I am so grateful to all of them for paving the way for our country and our military now. They inspire me and help me get through each deployment with my own husband.
Kassidy and Kameron are strong. They amaze me. They are so proud of their father, yet they worry too. Kassidy takes on the role of the oldest well. She protects her siblings. She hugs them often. Even when she feels like crying, she hangs tough. And she helps me. Sometimes too much... but I love her and I appreciate her and her sweet spirit. Kameron has blocked all deployment talk out. He may be in a little bit of denial. He was literally surprised when Kassidy reminded him that daddy was leaving today, even though we've been talking about it for weeks. He plays everything cool... like the big kid that he is, but sometimes the little boy inside comes out and you can tell he is scared. No matter how much I try to protect them from the news, they know. They know that sometimes daddies just don't come home.
Kennedy is understanding in small doses. She knows that daddy is going to help people. She knows he won't be back for "lots and lots of days". She knows that when he does come back, we are going to California. And that makes her happy. She gives big hugs and kisses and wraps her arms around anyone who needs a hug. "It will be ok..." she assures us. We talk about how she will get to see daddy on the computer... and he will talk to her and check in on her, and make sure she's being good at school. "And he'll watch me dance?!" she questions. Yes. He will watch you dance. And he will smile and call you a princess.
This is the first deployment where Keeghan is really aware of what is happening. We've been talking about it for some time. He's had lots of questions, lots of anxiety. When he hears the garage door open, he will come running, tears in his eyes, wondering who's leaving the house, where they are going, and when they are coming back... and please oh please give him a hug and kiss before you leave. I'm not sure what the next few weeks will bring for him. He's just a little guy who loves his daddy... and it's going to be hard for him.
Kellsey is blissfully unaware. She doesn't understand. Doesn't know. She will go to bed tonight just like always and tomorrow she will get up just like always and go about her day. Will she look for him? I wonder. Eventually will she wander around the house, looking for her dad who usually sits in the chair next to her while she scribbles on her magna doodle... and will she wonder where he went... why she only gets to see him on mommy's computer? I don't think she will understand. She may have it easier than the rest of us.
My kids are strong. Tomorrow we will wake up and we will begin our new routines. We will go forward, getting everyone where they need to be, when they need to be there. We will all pitch in and keep the house running and we will smile. And we will laugh. And we will make memories. And take lots of pictures to send overseas. And we will get through the next year one day at a time... looking forward to skype calls and phone calls and R&R... and we'll watch this circle go from red to green... because green means that daddy is coming home.
Please be praying for Frank and his fellow Soldiers as they start this journey once again. One year. We can do this.