NOTE: I use this graphic when I am writing a post about my husband & categorize that post as such too:
My husband is in South Carolina for a few days this week. He was invited (all expenses paid!!) to a 2 day “seminar,” as such, for Christian school administrators to learn more about a specific Christian curriculum. Dan and I aren’t apart often – once a year, he goes away to an Educator’s Conference, and he usually goes to summer camp with the kids. Even more rarely do I go away by myself or with only the kids. Because of this, we have developed such a reliance on each other, especially these last 6 years we have been in the ministry. It’s not that I can’t handle being a “single parent” for a few days, but I realize more and more what a great team Dan and I are – not to mention that I miss his company and his presence, even though he usually is fast asleep hours before I go to bed. At least he is HERE.
As an Army wife, in my “former life,” I was actually a single parent for a whole year while Dan deployed to Iraq from February 2003 until February 2004. At the time, people would say, “I don’t know how you do it!” … and honestly, I don’t know HOW I did it; I just did it. 🙂 You find amazing strength and grace when you need it most. Probably any military wife will tell you that!
That year taught me that I was capable of a lot of things – with God’s help (and a few close girl friends’ help). Quite honestly, sometimes I enjoyed my independence. I would have liked it a lot more had I not known that random mortars were sometimes hurling towards the camp where my husband worked at a combat support hospital (C*S*H) or that the streets he sometimes had to travel potentially had IEDs hidden under them. At the end though, I was more than ready for Dan to come home and to give him back his role as head of our home, decision maker, Dad, and husband; I was worn down, tired of being a mom and a dad, and just wanted to be the wife again. The transition wasn’t as simple as it sounded, but we were complete again upon his return.
So, these few days this week aren’t a big deal by any means … We’re staying busy; time is flying; Dan will be home soon. My kids are cooperating. In fact, it is my son who drives us to get out of the house on time in the mornings (usually my husband’s job). He takes care of the dog without being told; today he got the trash ready for pick up by himself. Both my kids have packed their own lunches and made sure they had everything ready to go to school.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t had my moments of tired frustration. Yesterday, after taking Dan to the airport and doing some “shopping” in the “big city” where the airport is located (which is a big treat for us, as our little community only has a Super Wal-mart to offer for shopping!!), by bedtime, I’d had it. So had Miriam (the baby). She was extra fussy – and I was trying to get the big kids settled before I got Miriam ready for bed. It was a little chaotic with Miriam whining and clinging to me … and in a moment of frustration, I kind of muttered, “Miriam, would you just shut up.” Anna must have heard me because after a while, she came to me and said, “Mom, I know you’re frustrated, but it really bothered me that you told Miriam to shut up.” *SIGH* It is quite painful to be rebuked by your own child, isn’t it!! And Anna definitely didn’t mean it disrespectfully; she was honestly bothered because she KNEW we don’t talk that way in our family.
I made things right with Anna … I loved on Miriam a little extra too since she couldn’t understand what I’d done, but I still felt bad. After I put Miriam down to sleep, I checked in on Anna again to make sure she understood I was wrong and I was sorry. She hugged me and said, “It’s ok, Mom. I know you are really tired today. You need Daddy.” Oh, how right she was!! After all these years, he has become more than a husband; he is a necessity … And he’ll be home on Thursday! 🙂