Dads on Duty

Today is Father’s Day and being as we’re a military family, I can’t help but think about all the military dads (and boy do we know a lot of them) who didn’t get to spend today with the people who most love and adore them–their kids.

Every day I am lucky enough to be able to see my baby’s smiles, hear the patter of his hands and knees as he crawls across the floor, make him giggle, and hold him close at night. How far away those simple pleasures must seem to those deployed dads when they are in places where it can often be hard to see the good in things or people. I bet some days a diaper blow out or two sounds way better than anything they’ve got to deal with.

During the past two years, my husband has been gone a lot for military-related activities. He missed out on a lot of my pregnancy, a lot of the new baby lovefest, and a lot of baby’s firsts. It’s definitely been frustrating for him at times even though it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. I mean, missing out on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions is pretty much in a soldier’s job description.

But despite all that he’s missed out on in the name of duty, he has still managed to grow so much as a dad. He lives more deliberately, with a greater sense of purpose. He’s simplified his needs and reshuffled his priorities. He’s learned to celebrate some of the littler things in life. And his emotional range has expanded to include new varieties of joy, pride, and heartache. In some ways, you might say he’s become a better person. All because of baby.

He never needed to change for me, but it’s been interesting to watch his transformation. It’s clear that he’s had an idea in his head of what kind of dad he wants to be and has been working very hard to deliver on that despite the challenges and limitations that come part and parcel with being a soldier. And for that, I am grateful.

So, with that said, my thoughts go out to all the military dads who inevitably had a pretty lonely today, as well as their families who miss them so much. Here’s to their ability to be as good of dads on the home front as soldiers in the field. Happy Father’s Day!

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4 Comments

Filed under babies, daddy care, dads, daily life, family, first year, military families, parenting, photos

4 responses to “Dads on Duty

  1. Paige

    Very sweet, and oh, so touching! Great pictures! Loving Daddy Ian 🙂 Aleksi is a very lucky little boy!

  2. Thank you so much for that write up, you are truly an amazing writer and mother. As you know its been tough for me as it is tough for all of the guys. Its been a rough year watching him grow up on video and pictures. I can not wait to get home to be a dad once again. thank you for writing this I’m sure all the dads away from their children appreciate reading this as I know I do.
    I am so proud to be a father, all that I have done in my life can not compare to my greatest accomplishment, my son.

    Happy Fathers Day

    • You are so very welcome, love. And I know how hard it is for all the guys to be away from their families, although sometimes it’s easy to forget when the other stuff of life starts piling up. But getting back to normal isn’t that far away.

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