My son turned one year old a couple of weeks ago. I was away from home for a good chunk of his birthday and feel a little really guilty about it. I don’t know why because my husband has missed countless holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other significant events. I suppose in a way I didn’t feel justified in my absence. I sure as heck wasn’t deployed. I just had plans with my mother and my aunt. We had already celebrated with a party the previous weekend. So, why then, did I feel so guilty? Perhaps it stems from the fact that I’m the one constant in our family. I’m always home. I’m the one who remembers to order/bake the cake. I make the plans. I have been known to commemorate little moments with pictures and videos. All this stuff eludes my husband. It’s just not his forte. He loves our children dearly, but because of his job, he’s just not as in tune with things as I am. He’s not at home even half as much. I don’t envy him. Well, I take that back, I do envy the tropical port calls in the dead of winter. What I’m not jealous of though is how he misses the kids and has missed so much.
I’ve been there when they’ve started to crawl and say first words. I’ve witnessed tender moments between sisters as they are helping each other out and don’t know I’m watching. Trust me, that’s a big one, because most often they are fighting like crazy. My husband often reflects on how lucky I am. In a sense, it falls into the category of you can’t have what you want or the grass is greener. You moms on the homefront with deployed husbands can surely understand this. I imagine there are many dads at home who’s wives are deployed who can also relate. It’s tough all the way around. It’s our life though. We love it. We hate it. We just make it work.
Since my husband’s schedule fluctuates so much, it’s rare that I can make plans and keep them. So, it was a rare occasion for me to actually be away from home without children in tow. I felt completely confident that my husband would make the day enjoyable for the kids and do some fun things with them. Of course, the baby is so young, he didn’t even realize it was his birthday—just another day. Of course, the little stinker took his first steps while I was away. Great moment for dad, a little bittersweet for me though.