Overall, 2013 has been a hard year on the family. As of the middle of September, I’ve been home with the family for a grand total of 4 weeks. I’ve been fortunate in the fact that it’s mostly involved schools instead of deployments, so we’ve been able to Skype and talk on the phone, but it’s still been tough.
As of today, I’ve managed to go 4 for 4 by missing every single birthday this year. Little Dude’s was in March, Princess and CinC HOUSE celebrated theirs in June, and I solidify myself in the mid-30s today. While this would be a perfect opportunity to get down and start feeling sorry for myself, I actually find myself with a positive mindset and not just because I already had an awesome birthday present from my wife.
The military life is certainly tough on families. The kids don’t always understand what’s going on, and saying goodbye gets a little bit harder every time. On the flip side, the Navy has been extremely good to us over the years. I never would have even met my wife without it, and I certainly couldn’t support them as well as I’m able to now. We’ve been able to live in amazing places like San Diego and Monterey (it’s probably worth mentioning that if I ever get transferred away from California, I’ll have to drag my wife out with a team of horses). It’s certainly hard on the kids, but they know that I’ll eventually come home and that I love them more than anything. Being away from the family is certainly a steep price to pay, and it certainly doesn’t seem worth it sometimes, but it’s a sacrifice that my wife and I decided to make a long time ago.
Of course, right now the most important reason for being positive revolves around the fact that I’M GOING HOME IN 3 DAYS!!! My schedule is always fluid, but it looks like I’ll be coming home from work and sleeping in my own bed for the near future, and that’s the best gift there is.
As I’ve mentioned before, the pain of the farewells can never compare to the pure bliss of the homecomings.