I have written this blog about 10 times struggling to find the right story to tell you. If you read my last story of my kids and their daddy doll he has since came home to a frozen theme homecoming, stayed a bit and left again. (you can read that here, warning its a little sappy) I saw this saying “god bless the military child” and went with it.
This will be the third year in a row my husband has missed the 4th of July with us. Its the 3rd year in a row he will have missed Mothers Day, Fathers Day. and their birthdays. Since we have been stationed here in Kailua, HI, my husband has left us every 6 months. He misses the first day of school, comes home then leaves just in time to miss the last day of school. He misses the fun of summer and all the little in between moments… And trust me there are a lot of in between’s. If your my friend on Facebook you know deployments hate me and we suffer from the deployment curse. Its pretty much a running joke in my life that all my family tells me to write a book about. Sometime I start to feel like it cant be real, and that I am being punk’d.
So here we are daddy-less gearing up for our annual 4th of July pictures. We get dressed, curled some hair and put a little mascara on. We aimed for the beach at sunset and ended up getting rained out. As I sat at home a little bummed I saw this blessing in disguise. I thought how awesome it would be to have the other kids in my husbands unit here on Marine Corps Base Hawaii to join us with their daddy dolls. So I put a message out on Facebook to come join us!
Two other little girls ended up joining us and they were as sweet as ever. As I gave them prompts to hug and kiss their doll you would think they were squeezing the real thing. Its funny how this little doll can bring so much joy to their lives. How it makes them feel like they have a piece of their dad that they are giving that love to.
Its not those smiling faces that get me though. Its that little glimpse between that really make my heart ache for them. Its that moment they just embrace their doll and truly give it some love. Its the face they make and the comfort they find. That moment of genuine emotion that shows what they are really feeling.
I know my own kids feel that too. That doll tries to go everywhere with us, even when he is home. So as much as they want to take him places I remind them how special he is and how we would be sad if we accidentally lost him. Usually reasoning with a 2 and 4 year old would be hard but even they know how they would feel if they lost it, they find solace in it.
My kids have been pretty darn amazing through this deployment despite every effort the curse has brought us. Although Izzy is sad her dad cant be here to celebrate one of her favorite holidays, watching fireworks and having her family together. We are excited to spend the day celebrating the freedoms he joined the military to protect with our Ohana here on Island. We have our tribe, a diverse group who somehow found a deep friendship, and today like every day we love them hard.
So as your gearing up for the cookout today, and the fireworks tonight, and your getting decked out in your red white and blue. Remember that today is not about the drinking and the bbq’s it about celebrating the freedoms we have fought to protect. There are still service members away from their families that let us have this day. Go give your family a little extra love and then send some of the extra love to your neighbor who might not be feeling the same freedoms you are. Remember that just because your not in the military doesn’t mean you cant fight for freedom too.
“Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better” -Alber Camus
Snag your daddy doll here : www.daddydolls.com
Samantha Byrd Photography Photographer