Telling your children about an upcoming deployment NEVER gets any easier. We have been DREADING having "the" talk with them ever since we found out. We knew we would wait until it was close to time before we would tell them...and we are getting to that point now.
So a few weeks ago, J had to go away for a couple weeks on some army training. (gotta love all the training/schools that take place in order to prepare for deployment). I thought to myself, well this may be the time...it was not, but I will share with you how it went.
I was playing in the sprinkler with the kids. When they decided to take a break, I thought ok...while they sit here with their popsicles, I will tell them. Here is how it went:
Me: "Kids do you remember when daddy had to go away last year for army work?"
Madi (the 3 yr old): "Yea, he was gone protecting our country"
Jack (the 5 yr old): "Yes, mommy. Daddy had to go protect our country and keep us safe. He was gone a long time"
Me: "that is right children. He was gone to protect our country. And being gone for over a year is a long time. Children, what if daddy had to go protect our country again?"
Jack: "No, mommy he already has. He does not have to do that again. I do not want him to go away for a long time like that ever again."
Madi: "Is he going to get killed?"
I IMMEDIATELY stopped the conversation right there. Why on earth is my 3 yr old thinking like this???? These are my thoughts...my private thoughts...that I NEVER share and especially NEVER share with the kids. I was completely shocked by her response. I honestly did not know how to respond. It took me a few moments to regain myself. I assured Madi that God is protecting all of us and has a greater plan for all of us. A greater plan than we could ever imagine. Not sure she understood or not, but I pray for her understanding. I pray for Jack's as well.
I did not tell them about the deployment. Not sure that they are ready to hear that yet.
We dread telling them...it is not going to be easy. Right now I am just praying and asking God to prepare their little hearts to hear this. That is all I know to do for now.
So how do I tell them??? How do I reassure them??? Any advice here is greatly welcomed. =)
I will leave you with a picture of my little patriots: