I’ve been getting a lot of flack lately.
I’m a military wife. My husband was deployed aboard the USNS Comfort for the Haitian Earthquake Relief effort. As the mission wound down and the Navy began to send extra staffers home, he asked what he should do if he were offered one of those tickets off the ship. Stay or go? My answer was STAY.
Everyone seems to have interpreted that as me not wanting him home. They have implied that I don’t care for him like I should. That I, in fact, do not love my husband. That I’m not interesting in sharing BLOOD AND DESTINY’s success with him because I do not value his opinion. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I would have loved to have had him holding my hand when BLOOD AND DESTINY jumped to the 2nd place spot on the MB&M’s top ten list, or any of the variety of lists it’s popped up on. It would have made the experience that much more complete. But it would have been incredibly selfish of me to expect it.
You see, we have children. Three delightfully precocious and exhausting elementary schoolers that I homeschool. The eldest is in third grade…and her FCAT testing was hanging over her head like Wylie Coyote’s Acme anvil. Because we homeschool, that standardized test is especially important because it tells me if we’re providing her with the level of education she needs to be academically successful.
Now, nothing would have made me happier than to have my husband fly in the door on the first plane home. However, after weeks apart, could my darling Daddy’s girl concentrate on doing her absolute best on her testing knowing that as soon as she’s done, she gets to come home and play with Daddy? Nope – she would have slapped down whatever answer caught her eye first and rushed through the test…bombing the score.
It’s about priorities and being able to put my personal wants and needs behind those of my children. My husband understands that and agrees with me. If he had been sent home before the testing cycle, we would have made it work so that it was as non-disrupting as possible. But, the best case scenario was for him to come home after the testing cycle completed so we could take an entire week off for Spring Break and everyone could enjoy the family time.
I gave up being able to satisfy my personal (and selfish) desires when I became a mother. I can wander by a department store window and admire the outrageously priced display without grabbing my debit card to rush in to make a purchase.
Now days, I look at the price tag and equate it to how those funds are better allotted in our budget. After all, the kids have activities and lessons that will lay the foundation for their personalities and successes for their entire life. They don’t run cheap, either.
My life is in the years where I have become the sum of my experiences. There may or may not be triumphs and successes in my future. If there are, it’s gravy on a life already well lived.
My children are just starting. They’re building their personalities and sense of self-worth with every step they take. Every time they accomplish something, their faces light up and they glow with pride as they set the next goal higher.
So, yes. Daddy will be home soon. The testing cycle is over. And my children are excited over Spring Break (which starts Monday).