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September 08, 2009

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I know it's going to be a rough couple of months for you, but at least you've got a great support network, even if we're not all in Atlanta.

It should go without saying, but if there's anything I can do to help, I'll do it.

Thinking of you today and hoping time flies for you and the Huz.

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be thinking of you and your husband all day today.

I reread and now I understand that she had heard about 9/11 at school, and that's what led into the discussion. I'm sorry I hadn't realized that and must have come off as a dolt (in my earlier comment about bringing up 9/11).

I hope tomorrow goes gently for all of you.

Sorry I'm so late to the game here.

TWO MONTHS. Holy crap. How can I help you???

Our daughters - their sensitivity, inquisitiveness, etc... - they sound so similar. I hope they get to meet someday.

-Christine

That sounds tough. Very tough. From the mother of one very sensitive child to another, I also have difficulty trying to tackle the hard talks. I remember Hannah coming home from school last year talking about 9/11, and what the librarian had told her class. I was initially angry, so much did I want to shield her from the grotesque notion of men flying passenger-loaded planes into buildings. But I also let the moment pass, choosing not to add to it. Probably a mistake on my part. We'll see what tomorrow brings, and if I'm any braver.

I hope these two months go by quickly for your family. And that you don't feel the need to approach your lawn with a pair of scissors!

Wow.

Just now finding your blog. Would love to read more about your single mamahood and now this... you must have your hands full but I'm wondering, will your single mom strength come back when he is away?

All my best...

And check out my blog about being a single mom if you get a chance. Something tells me you'll dig it.

http://www.mssinglemama.com

Ms. Single Mama

My Emily was born on 9/11. THAT 9/11. We've explained to her what happened that day, and used her birth to illustrate how even when terrible things happen, there is always hope for something wonderful. She turns 8 on Friday. I know its hard for her to understand, and to be 100% honest, I'm glad I've given her a secure enough childhood that that kind of tragedy is beyond her comprehension.

Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Being separated from a spouse is hard. I know.

But I imagine it's an entirely different type of hardship when your spouse is being deployed.

I'll wring my hands for ya.

Good luck to him.

I won't wish you luck, cuz I know you'll rock it. You always do.

You do her such a service by being honest with her and attacking the issues head on in ways she can understand. She will appreciate it later, even if there are tears now.

Man, just wait until our kids start asking us sex questions. We're doomed.

@Philomena - Unfortunately, both collided together due to timing. Sometimes we can't control what they ask us and what's happening in our lives. I certainly wouldn't have chose it that way.

I just have to say it, do you think it was wise to have a discussion about 9/11 with your 5 yo at the exact same time you told her that her daddy was getting on a plane to go to war? I'm sorry if I offend, it just seems like bad timing....

That's a tough topic, and what a difficult reality for your daughter to face. I think you did the best thing you could by answering her questions candidly.

Best wishes for the speediest two months yet.

Good luck to you and your family - you have lots of support out here in the interwebs if you need it...

Love and kisses to all. Especially you.

My daughter is also very sensitive, and went through a period when she was very concerned about death. I told her that when we die, we get to pick what happens to us next - if we'd like to be born again and live another life, or go to heaven, or be a star, whatever we like. She decided that she wanted to reincarnate as herself again after she dies, and she wants me to be myself again and be her momma. I said, "of course I will." And BAWLED as soon as I had some alone time.

When my brother-in-law was deployed, his kids referred to it as "big work", as in Daddy is at big work and he'll be home in three months...The three year old could understand the diff between big and little and this helped him make sense of it.

I can't even begin to imagine how hard this is for you. It sounds like you've got one sweet insightful little girl to keep you company though. And remind you of all the important stuff. I'm sure this isn't the last time she will blow you away with her take on the situation.

"I want to see the world, Mom. I want to travel everywhere before I die."
"So then you shall, Goose," gulping back tears.

Mine are streaming...

Oh sweetie. I'm not at all surprised to hear Ms. Q responding with such depth.

She is so lucky to have you for her mother. In a jam, or a scary moment, you're the one, girl.
I Will add your sweet family to our prayers and hope it's as easy as it can be. Two months ends before Christmas so if deployment length remains two months you'll have a hell of a Christmas present.
All my love.

First - huge hugs. For all of you.

And tell your husband thank you.

Words of advice, I don't have. My husband works in a government secured basement. He's home by 5:30 nearly every day.

Because of people like your hubs.

And you.

My best friend of 20 years is deploying for 400 days at the 3rd of October. He leaves a wife and four tiny kids.

I am drowning in worry, sadness and fear for him and I am not his immediate family...I don't know how you do it.

I admire you immensely.

(And for the eleventyhundredth time can I say I am a dorkwad and on drugs *literally* when I failed to recognized you the second you said Hi at BlogHer? I DID think you were smokin' hot and that dang, I wished I had your hair. :) )

I can't imagine having to have this conversation with my five year old. Hugs to you Kristen.

i do not envy you having this talk but am impressed with your responses to her questions. i do hope these two months fly for all of you.

we skype once, twice a day. i hadn't tried it until he deployed either. totally slick. so easy in fact, i've had to cut back a bit in order to shower (etc...). free time is a luxury with one baby, I can't imagine with 3!

one learning: don't feel as though you have to always sit in a chair in front of the camera.

my husband was amazed to see what the baby could do when i wasn't propping him uncomfortably in my lap for the camera. ("he grabbed for that toy!!! i've never seen him do that! wow, look at him giggle!"). he also sings "his" song to jack every time we talk. i have no idea if it is at all meaningful or memorable to our 3 mo old, but it is to us. he will have been gone for jack's 2-6months. i can't believe we're almost half-way already.

im just beginning to understand this service and sacrifice gig. thank you and your family for yours. sincerely.


yikes and holy shiny tears on my face! i'm a military spouse too so this topic will be coming up for our household soon. thank you for posting and giving me some food for thought.

My heart goes out to you. Daddy's long absence and the danger he will be in are extraordinarily tough topics.

I do not get, however, why you felt you needed to explain 9/11 to a 5-year-old. When you're 5, everything is about you. So of course her little mind went straight to "I'm in danger!" "My family is in danger!" and not to any real understanding of those events.

There's time for all that, really, when kids are better able to process.

*Hugs*

Our first deployment, the boys were 3 and 1.5 years old... we told them Daddy had to go to "Army work" on the "other side of the world" and that was pretty much it. All they could understand, all I could handle telling them. Now, they are 8 and 6 and we've just been put on alert for another possible deployment. It will definitely be harder to discuss this time around, but I like your simple and honest approach Kristen.
Wishing you a very quick and easy 2 months!

My family and I just got off of a 7 month deployment, it'll be okay--just a long, hard wait. Good luck, and I'll definitely keep that yellow ribbon on our door for you and all the other men and women in our country.

Wow! That was beautiful and moving. Good luck to all of you with his deployment!

And mommies too. I should be smacked for that omission, given my own service.

Tremendous thanks to your husband and all the other daddies who've deployed. Tough to explain, even tougher to reassure.

Quick comment before my coworkers wonder why I'm crying at my desk.

My heart goes out to you, your kids and your husband.

It's way too young for that conversation. Why can't they keep their innocence for just a few more years?

We had no children when my hubs was in the military. I had several friends who delivered their first babies while our guys were gone. At that point (early 2003), deployments were sort of open ended. We were told, "no less than 6 months, no more than 18." First time was 7 months, as was the second.
I'm certain I would have been alright, had I had children then, but my hat is still off to you. I am SOOO happy that communication has improved so much for our deployed men and women and their families. Going 6 weeks with zero communication sucked! After that it was letters that were slower than molasses...I just sounded so Southern *snicker* Best of luck!

I can't even imagine. Thank you to your husband for doing all he does for our safety. And thank you to you for supporting him in that.

My 4yo started asking me about death recently. It's a difficult conversation to have.

My husband deployed for four months earlier this year. It's a terrible conversation to have with your kids. I about clocked Joe when he told our then 4 year old he would be the man of the house. Gah.

The days seemed so long, but the time seemed so short in the end. I hope yours is the same.

I wish I had the courage to have this kind of conversation with my 5-year old. I still don't know how to tell her that yes, it is possible mommy or daddy might die. But then again, when her dad is deployed, it's only to hurricane regions, so I've had an excuse to avoid tackling it. (Or swine flu.) I'll be thinking of you all for the next two months! And working up my nerve to talk to my little one -- I like the formulation of: let's focus on living.

@muskrat - we've got the cam (just have to set it up) and skype (get that set up too). So much to do, so little time.

And yeah, it'll be over our 5th anniversary and Margot's 1st b-day. She's super attached to him (even more so than the older two) which is the first for him, so it should be interesting to see how it goes on his return.

Hugs, Kristen!

Agree with Keyona! I left on 9/11, too. At least it won't be your birthday when he gets on that plane.

My biggest worry was coming back and having my then-one-year-old not know who I was. And, missing her learn to walk, etc. Both happened, but D taped the learning to walk for me, and she quickly remembered who I was after a day or two. Still.

If y'all aren't doing it already, I'd recommend getting (or using if you have it) a webcam, so y'all can video conference with each other (Is that what skype does? I don't know). There were multiple facilities for doing that available in the AOR if the person at home has the ability to play, too. We didn't.

That being said, I worked at least 12 hrs/day, 7 days a week, so there wasn't much time for that anyway. At least your man will have crew rest!

Oh Kristen, that makes my heart strings tug in all kinds of directions. I'm sorry you had to have that conversation with Q. I can't imagine what that poor little girl is feeling. Or you.

I hope the next 2 months are the fastest two months of your lives.

Thanks Amanda. Bill from Daddy is Tired sent that to me awhile ago. I need to pull that out for the kids!

I know that was hard for you. I deployed for almost 5 months when my daughter was only 18mths. I don't think it would have been any easier if she were old enough for me to explain it to her. From one Air Force family to another, I wish you peace a the fastest 2 months of your life. *Hugs*

Such a rough talk to have. I'm dreading when we'll have to have it next. My husband last deployed on 9/1. DO NOT listen to the radio that day. I had a 3 hour drive home after leaving him and I bawled the whole way because of the damned radio and all the patriotic songs and tributes.

I'm not sure if you're interested, but Sesame Street partnered with the military to make a video for kids on deployment. It may be better suited for Drew's age group though. I bet MilitaryOneSource would have the info on it.

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