I knew it. I knew if I planned a trip to Disney that the military would take him away. Why did I bother trying? This always happens. We tried to go to Disney in 2013. He was deployed. We had a family reunion planned over the summer. He had to go to a military thing. The thing about the military is, you can’t plan. Your spouse is a soldier. He or she doesn’t belong to you. They belong to their country. Always.
Tears spilled from my eyes. I should be used to this by now. We’ve been married for almost 12 years. He’s been gone a good portion of those years. He’s not mine, not completely. He belongs to the government. He’s theirs first, mine second.
“I just. Why all the time?” I sniffled as Tom took me in his arms. “Why can’t we have a family vacation ever?”
Natalie, who is a daddy’s girl, was not happy when she heard Tom was leaving. “But he just got back!” she huffed. “Now what?” He shrug was almost comical, and if my heart wasn’t breaking, I’d have laughed.
“You’re stuck with me,” I answered.
Natalie sighed. “I guess you’ll do,” and then she jumped on her Daddy’s back, because only he can play horsie with her. I’m not strong enough. I try and I teeter back and forth and Natalie will eventually say, “This is just not the same.”
I sat on the couch in a daze, hearing my little girl laugh with her Daddy, and my son, my Tommy, who has autism and struggles to decipher human emotions sat down beside me and patted my arm. “It’s okay,” he said, his face pinched, because crying makes him uncomfortable. “You’ve got this.”
I’ve got this.
Article by Amber Myers, Air Force Spouse.