The day that Hubby left for his first combat deployment was a bittersweet day. The little boys and I went with Hubby to the flightline to see him off. Boy #1 was ecstatic to be at "dada's work." His excitement just couldn't be contained. The innocence of it was heartbreaking. He just didn't know what this all meant--what was about to happen.
We walked out to Hubby's aircraft as a family, desperately wanting to hold on to every last second. After a long hug and whispers of forever love and one more kiss, I took Boy #1's hand, put Boy #2 back on my hip, and walked away from Hubby and his aircraft. As we walked away from him and into our deployment life--our life without him at home--the tears I had been holding in all morning couldn't be held back anymore. They streamed uncontrollably down my face, even as Boy #1 began happily skipping around me in circles and Boy #2 gleefully cooed on my hip.
Our temporary family of three made our way to the place where we were told we could watch Hubby take off. Boy #1 saw my tear-streaked face, and with his sweet toddler sensitivity, he gently grabbed my hand and stared at me for a few seconds with a furrowed brow and concern in his eyes. I smiled at him, told him I was ok, and wiped the tears from my face. He let go of my hand and continued his skips and squeals of excitement.
My son's sweet innocence put a smile on my face that day. He knew nothing of deployments, combat, fighting, or danger; only that he loved his daddy.
During the most unsettling of days--with news of close calls, accidents, deaths, and terror--I wish I had that childlike innocence. I wish I could happily skip around in circles and be blissfully naive, just like Boy #1 was on the day Hubby deployed.
Of course, I can't go back to a state of naivety. All I can do is look forward to the day when I can go back to that same spot on the flightline to watch Hubby land and walk right back into our happy family circle.