You may remember my post not too long ago about having "the" talk with the kids. (Click HERE to read the post) The "talk" did not go so well at all...it left me sad and heartbroken for my children and it left the conversation to be continued since I did not tell them. So many of you left such encouraging comments and I thank you so much for those. I especially thank all of you who have been so faithful to pray for my babies hearts, to pray for their understanding, and to pray for God to give me the right words. Those prayers worked. I am a little behind posting this since we did tell them a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to share with you God's faithfulness even during these times.
We have been praying along with you and approached the situation differently this time. Jason and I both sat down with the kids to tell them (I am so thankful I did not have to do that alone) I tried to remain as calm as possible, but too often my emotions get the best of me (especially when it comes to the kids) We started off by reminding the kids how very much we loved them. Then we went on to tell them that we had something very important that we needed to talk with them about. At that moment, they both stopped what they were doing and just looked at us...it was as if at that moment when they looked at us that God confirmed to me that this was indeed the moment to tell them and that they were ready. Both kids climbed up on the couch between Jason and me. We wrapped our arms around them and gave them a big hug...at which time we both had tears and the kids were still looking at us so intently. Then the conversation began:
Jason: "Kids, you know that mommy and daddy love you very much"
Jack: "yes sir, we do"
Madi: "yes sir"
Jason: "Do you remember when daddy had to go away for army work?"
Jack: "yes daddy, when you were protecting our country"
Jack: "like when we would see you on the computer and watch the movie you made?"
Jason: "yes, like that"
Jason: "Kids, daddy is going to have to go away again to protect our country"
Jack: "Are you going to the same place you were last time?"
Jason: "No, this time it will be a different country. Daddy will be going to Afghanistan this time"
Kids: both trying to say Afghanistan...laughing through my tears at this point
Jason went on tell the kids how long he would be gone. Jack replied "wow, that is a long time" and Madi repeated "yea, that's a long time"
Jason told the kids how very much he loved them. He assured them that he would call as often as he could, he would write letters to them, and he would see them on the computer as often as he could. Through this I am still not saying much...just trying to soak it all up (through my tears)
Then it happened...that moment when I knew (we knew) that our prayers had been heard...Jack started talking non-stop. Jack told Jason that he was going to be mommy's helper. He told Jason that he would talk to him all the time on the phone, that he would make him lots of crafts, and that we would send him stuff in the mail all the time. He also told Jason that we would send things to other soldiers that may not get crafts in the mail.(I love that child's heart!) At this point Jason and I are hugging Jack and looking at each other with tears just streaming down our faces...here was our little boy comforting us, assuring us, thinking of others, and confirming to us that God has indeed prepared his little heart to hear this news.
Through all of this Madi just repeated everything her brother said and added all the things she would send her daddy in the mail...you know chocolate and stickers ... could not help but laugh at her.
I am so thankful and grateful that the conversation went so much better this time. I am glad that they now know. It has been so hard to shield them from all this.
Well, I think this is probably long enough for now, but I can't end the post without a few pictures of my little sweeties