I have my boys tucked into bed and my feet are up for the evening. *E*, 6 years old is already snoring softly in dream world. *C*, 3 years old, is turning his little-lamp by his bed on and off, on and off, on and off. He is trying. This is what happens when he takes a nap during the day … bedtime comes and he has no interest in sleep. Who can blame him. But this Mommy craves… desires… NEEDS her “quiet time” as I refer to it after 8:00pm. So in spite of naps he still has to stay in his room till he falls asleep at bed time.
We had a peaceful evening. The usual rough-housing, car-playing, ball-catching in the family room type of evening; but at 8:00pm Sesame Street and PBS presented “Coming Home” – Military Families Cope with Change. So instead of heading upstairs at 7:45pm for books, our usual routine, we stayed downstairs and had a snack and watched some Elmo.
I’m not sure what the boys pulled out of it directly. It was a good show! But 3 year old and 6 year old minds work differently. Heck, I’m not even sure what I pulled from it. This definitely gave us something to talk about over the next few weeks.
The show starts out with a focus on our service-members who have a physical-change, like an amputated arm or leg. I couldn’t help but tear up as I watched. (This is where my feeling fortunate came in.) Some of the kids talked about how they were afraid of their Dad & the physical changes when he came back. But they discovered that Dad was still Dad. ugh… I’m so thankful that my boys won’t have to worry about that emotion.
They do look so forward to Dad coming back! He will be home for good THIS month. We have a few events that we have to go to. The Official Homecoming Ceremony of course, as well as a 30-day family event and 60-day family event. But my husband doesn’t work in a special ops group or a high-combat group; for that I am so thankful! Really, the only shooting he saw was at the firing range. But that doesn’t make me (or the boys) miss him any less!
So I’m wondering what ‘changes’ will have occurred. The last segment of the show was on PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and the anger that sometimes service-members come home with. Will PTSD be there at all for hubby? He does have some real changes to acclimate himself to here at home. The boys got older; I grew to be more self-reliant; nieces and nephews were born; friendships changed. But deep-down I’m just thinking (hoping, praying?) that those are easy enough changes to roll-with-the-punches.
At the end of the Sesame Street special John Mayer played his guitar and sang “Say What you Need to Say”. *C* had been watching the show out of the corner of his eye while playing with cars on the floor. But the minute he heard that music he stood up, grabbed his ‘guitar’ (a wooden sword) and started dancing. (He just warms my heart when he does that. He is my future rock-star!) What a subtle reminder that the important part of re-acquainting ourselves as a family is to just talk, say what is on our mind.