*Photo courtesy of Ellen Nicol Photography
When a military wife finds out she is pregnant there is one uncertainty she faces that others may take for granted:
Will my husband be here for the pregnancy, the birth, or the first sleepless night? What about for that first sweet smile, first words, first steps or first birthday?
Whether for training or a deployment there is no way to truly know. If our husband is missing the pregnancy and birth we tell ourselves that it's better because he will be here for the first year of life. If he has to leave right after the birth we tell ourselves, at least he will be here to experience the birth of his child. Having experienced myself and watched others friends and fellow spouses experience...well...frankly they both suck. Period. We make the most of our situation and rely on our sisters and battle buddies to get through. We take life one day at a time and fill our calendar with as many activities as we possibly can. We set goals for ourselves and in my case paint our entire downstairs floor one painstakingly slow section of wall at a time after Landon went to bed.
Why is this on my mind? Emmilyn is just about the age Landon was when Daddy had to say 'see you later' and board that plane for Afghanistan. The image of Chris kissing five week old Landon goodbye will forever be ingrained in my brain and heart. I wasn't worried about myself. I am quite independent and strong and I knew I would be okay but Landon was so young, so tiny and innocent of the fact that his father would miss many of his firsts. I took pictures everyday and filled up Youtube with countless videos of every gurgle, laugh, and first Landon experienced but it's never the same as experiencing it yourself.
Today I am thankful. Thankful that we have a few more months to cherish as a family of four. Thankful for a few more months before we have to say 'See you later.' Thankful to be looking forward to this Holiday season. Thankful to listen to Landon cackle with laugher while Daddy chases him and thankful to watch sweet Emmilyn sleeping on Daddy's chest. Thankful to have the man I love beside me. When the time come we'll survive, one day at a time. We'll take pictures and videos; we'll talk about Daddy and how he's defending our freedom. We'll schedule playdates, go on roadtrips, set goals (and hopefully not paint the whole downstairs again!)
Today, though, I am thankful.