By Jade Stone, military mom
The Christmas season is in to full swing and there’s a myriad of Christmas parties that one feels obligated to attend. I do my social duty to make an appearance at each one mostly to prove that I’m doing okay.
Though most of these people I see every day or at least once or twice a week, it never fails once people “realize” the hubby has been gone for pre-deployment training the onslaught of questions is close behind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as though they didn’t know anything about it. Everyone was aware he was leaving, it’s just that slowly but surely, their mindfulness of his absence was thrown to the wayside and replaced by Christmas pageants, parties, who got the best deal where and daily holiday gossip and now a few months later its “oh! Is he still gone”?
I can’t help but chuckle as I think how easy it was for them to forget as I have painstakingly gone through the past few months carrying on the daily routine of caring for a small child who doesn’t understand why daddy is gone, keeping up with vehicle and home maintenance, as well as finances without him. I don’t blame them, they do have other more pressing matters at hand but it can be disheartening at times.
At any rate, many of the questions are things like “so, does he get to come home on weekends?”, or “How do you do it all alone”, reminding me constantly of how much help I don’t have! And while my first response is “WE do it so people like YOU don’t have to bat an eyelash over anything other than your own self absorbed lives”, eventually the irritation wears off and I begin to formulate an answer that seems to sober them up a bit. How do I do it? How does any single parent do it? I think you wake up one morning at a time, determine the objectives for the day, kiss your children and tell them you love them, and then accomplish your objectives.
You don’t look at tomorrow, or worry about the bank account that never seems to be quite full enough, nor do you pine away after the loved one who is not there. In my case, while I’m excited he will be home soon, I don’t think about how long he’s been gone or how much longer he will be away, nor do I stress over where he’s going to be deployed. My goal each day is to provide for my family, and let them know I love them, everything else can wait. And, while some days are more hectic than others, I always know that nothing is forever and God will never give me more than I can handle.
“How do I do it?” you ask? I take it one day at a time, eyes forward, one foot in front of the other and with the knowledge that I am never truly alone as long as I have my faith in God. I do it because it is what has to be done in order to support our country as a silent soldier by my husband’s side. So in short, as my child would say, in the words of my favorite cartoon fish, Dory, “just keep swimming”!