Tonight just happened. I'm not really sure what brought it on, but I shared quiet moments with each of my sweet munchkins about their Daddy as they were each closing their eyes and drifting off to dreamland. My hopes are certainly that their dreams are filled with thoughts and visions of him.
Abby: As we do every night, Abby and I sat and rocked in her dimly lite room while she enjoyed her bedtime bottle. When she finished, she snuggled up to me and I stood and rocked her while we slowly moved around the room listening to soft lullabyes. I'm not sure why, but I whispered to her that there were only a few more nights that she had to be without her Daddy. I told her that I hoped she would "know" him, smile at him, go to him, feel comfortable around him. I reassured her that for every moment that Daddy has been away, he has dreamed about her, missed her, and waited patiently so that he could love on her when he returned. I told her that would happen in just a few short days. As she lay snuggled on my shoulder and in my arms, I hope that in a few more nights Brian will be able to know this wonderful feeling of his little girl.
Thomas: After laying in his bed together and reading a good nighttime story of his chosing, we laid under the blankets and just talked about whatever came to mind. After a few seconds of silence with both of us looking up at the fan, I reminded Thomas that in "X" more mornings, we would wake-up, get dressed and instead of going to school - we would go to Daddy's work, wait for him to get off an airplane and then a short bus ride over to where we would be waiting (near the RED HORSE statue). He knows that ALL the RED HORSE daddies are coming home with his Daddy. He knows that his friends, Chris & Nikki's daddy is coming home as well as Baby Emory's daddy is coming home (Emory was born in December... his Daddy has never met him... his amazing Mommy Laura gave birth while Daddy Patrick has been deployed). When I asked Thomas what he thinks we should do when we see Daddy get off the bus, his response was simply stated. "Mommy, we should kiss him." I asked Thomas if we should give Daddy lots of hugs too? Again, simply said by an-almost-3-year-old, "Sure Mommy, we should kiss him and hug him and tell him we missed him." I laid there and pictured Thomas in the arms of Brian after he gets off the bus in a few more mornings and felt the tears start to well up in my eyes. I couldn't help but reach over and wrap my arms around Thomas and just hold him.
I know that Brian has missed out on so many "good nights" and "good mornings" with both Thomas (again this is his second 7-month deployment since Thomas was 8 months old) and Abby (he left when she was just 3 weeks old). I know Brian can't wait to enjoy every moment he can with the two of them. It saddens me to think about missed time, but I quickly look to the immediate future and know that this week is going to be amazing and wonderful and filled with so many special moments between Brian and his two sweet munchkins.