I watched Dear John the other night. It was in the middle of Drew being gone for 10 days. But, not just gone. He was in Sudan, Africa. No telephone access, no internet access. The only way I could communicate with him was by sending a satelite phone a text message. 160 characters or less. And the last 10 usually didn't make it through for some reason. And there was no reply. Just a one way text.
The movie really made me think about our military families here in the states. And how hard it must be on the wives and kids. I've thought about it before but I hadn't experienced not being able to talk to my husband for 10 days. It is the hardest thing I've done. No one to share those little tidbits of information about my day, no one to discuss parenting techniques, no one's eye to catch above the kids when they do or say something funny. Just no one. It's been a strange week. I thought I would post more about what went on in our daily life. But, I didn't.
I didn't tell you that yesterday I took the three boys to our neighborhood pool. And while there, Kolby was practicing kicking while holding a noodle, safely in the area of the pool that he could touch. Sage, swam under water and as he did, accidentally kicked Kolby out a little farther where he couldn't touch. Kolby started crying. I didn't panic. I knew he was okay as long he held onto the noodle. I called to Sage to come sit by Levi on the step while I pulled Kolby back to safety. I only told Sage, "Sit by Levi." And went to rescue Kolby. As I pulled the noodle back to safety and reassured Kolby he was okay, I looked back over my shoulder and saw Sage holding Levi underwater. I could see Levi looking at me while he was underwater. I yelled "Pull him up, pull him up, get him out of the water!" Sage just looked at me and continued to hold Levi underwater. I grabbed Levi out of the water and held him close. I was beyond upset. I asked Sage why he would dunk Levi underwater. He said "You do it!"
Yes, he has seen me dunk Levi. But, the difference was that I was trying to teach Levi to reach for the wall if he was under water. And the bigger difference is that I'm the mom.
I made grand promises about not going swimming again. I mean, I've taken them three times and twice something frightening has happened. Clearly, I can't handle the three of them by myself. I'm really disappointed because I had planned on that being one of our weekly or twice or thrice weekly outings. Now, I'm not so sure.
And where was I going with this?
Right, military families. I don't know how they do it. I'm beyond impressed. And then my thoughts turn to widowers. Specifically, widowers with young children. How do they even cope?
I have a cousin. She has 3 young children. And pregnant with her fourth. And her husband is deployed. Will you join me in praying for her? That is the most tangible thing I can think to do after watching the movie and having a taste of what life would be like. Only a taste. I didn't have to think about paying bills, making sure our bank balances were all okay, or yard work.
At the very least, say a prayer for our military familie this weekend. If you know a family, tell them thanks for the sacrifices that they are enduring or have endured.