I know today is supposed to be a cheery day, but I have been going through a lot lately, especially this last week and into this week. For one, as far as deployment goes, each of us who have children know that it can be a very difficult time in all our lives. My husband knows it and as well as the community.
Yes, I know that through research and frankly, common knowledge, tells us that children go through this hardship just as real as us adults. My beef is the part where discipline and guidance run a very thin line and cause havoc in our lives. Now several months into the deployment, all my boys have been fairly okay during this deployment, but somewhere in-between things got a little rough and this week was just miserable.
One night after church, my 4 year old son basically screamed all the way home, “Go pick up my dad!” and “Go pick up my Dad now!” and he kept on repeating that until we got home and after some discussion the situation calmed down. —I suppose that night was he’s breaking point during this deployment. Another son (our 9 year old), was drawing a picture and it had the following; a house with a fenced-in backyard (included with a swing-set), in the front yard a big tree and two people walking on a sidewalk, the sun and clouds in the air. I asked him who the two people were and he kind of hesitated, but said, “Me and Dad.” At first I was thinking, “Well, where is the rest of us (four other members in this family), but I realized he just misses his dad. I miss him (my husband) and yes, to no one’s surprise, the children do also…
Several nights after that incident, we had an opportunity to Skype with my husband (their dad)…and he was fairly adamant about telling his dad, “You need to come home, Dad, okay?” “You need to come home now, Dad, Okay?” –Even after we pointed out on a map to our location and my husband’s location.
“I am far away son, I have to work here for now.” “I’d have to get on a plane with that many miles in-between us son.” Being a smart-pants that he is (our son) said, “Well, get on a plane and come home.”
Yes, I have done all I can to make the transition easier, the infamous Elmo video, pictures of daddy everywhere, Daddy Dolls, HUGGEE MISS YOU dolls from our FRG, even Little Patriot Bears, but ultimately I find that nothing ‘really’ can replace their Daddy. It’s just a sacrifice for all of us, but one that we gladly endure for the benefit of our country.
So, naturally of all my (four) boys, he has been giving me a run for my patience. I understand that he misses his father….but it doesn’t mean that he will run this household. There are guidelines and rules in this family and I have probably (more than likely) slacked on my responsibility as the PARENT. So we are moving into another direction and one that involves being consistent in my parenting skills. We will be changing up some things…but all for the better of our home & family. He is such a wonderful and happy child, but some days –I am so glad the day is over. My motto, “Tomorrow is another day.”
I can’t help but wonder about my childhood during all of this….truth be told, it wasn’t a very good one at least in the respect of not being raised in a traditional mother and father home. I was raised by my older adult grandparents. I am thankful for them taking me in (and my sisters), but it was very hard growing up.
I take most of my experiences as a child and try to relate to my own children and my parenting skills… Here’s what I have learned…
There are four basic types of parenting;
1. Authoritarian Parenting – “Because I said so.”
2. Authoritative Parenting – “What can we do to make this situation better.”
3. Permissive Parenting – “Whatever you want dear.”
4. Uninvolved Parenting – “Children? What children?”
For me, there is always that fine line & balance in being someone in-between an Authoritarian parent and Authoritative parent. Because one, I do require obedience (it’s in the Bible), but I try everyday to be affectionate to my boys and definitely want the best for them and have mutual respect as a family. I want them growing up as strong men, but also loving-mannered men. Men who will provide, protect, and Love his family as himself. We need some of those, wouldn’t you agree?
The other two are just not on my list and I am sure we all can name one or two families that we have observed along this journey to being ‘labeled’ as.
Sorry to be running off in thought, but it is hard being a parent and even more difficult when the husband is not available to guide them too (especially boys).
I do know that my grandparents did their best in raising us and tomorrow marks the first anniversary without my grandmother. So, I want to say in remembrance to her…”Thank you.” Even though my childhood years were not the easiest, they did make me who I am today. I believe that we can make our own destiny (whether God wills it or not).
Anyway, I will be helping my boys make some rainbow colored cupcakes tonight and sharing with them the ‘footnote’ that yes….even after this storm (deployment), there is a light that comes out and a rainbow shall appear.
Thanks for letting me share this moment with you.