I have been in heaven the past weeks surrounded by some of my grandchildren. It has taken me back to the days when my house was a swirl of activity bordering on chaos. It was busy having four children in 6 years. As I try to keep up now I look back and wonder how did I ever do all the things we did?
Birthdays were always special. I went all out. Let me say it was not like the parties of today when parents spend gazillions of dollars to make a memory. My parties were homemade-even the cake was a version of what now would be considered a Pinterest fail. One of our parties for our daughter was a Princess party. Her brothers dressed up as Lords and even as a dragon-that Halloween box of costumes came in handy. We made jewelry with plastic beads and had strawberry cream cheese on butterfly crackers. It was oh so elegant.
The first party I ever did where we invited other children was for my Marine when he turned 4. He wanted a cowboy party. We had the rocking horse as a bucking bronco, a lariat toss, and hay bales in the kitchen! I had to be especially creative because he is a January baby. In fact his birthday is today.
I cannot do parties for him anymore. That’s one of the losses we feel as our kids grow up. His wife has that duty now. And to make it even more challenging he has been deployed on his birthday for 5 out of the last 6 years, including this one. The idea that I cannot share one of the biggest days of his and my life makes me sad. If you ask me, I can tell you every detail of his arrival on this earth. Now due to time, distance,and security restraints, I know very little of how he spends his days and that disconnection is painful.
When we talk about the struggle of being a military mom, the biggest hurts are the big worries. ” Are they safe? Will they make it back home? ” But there are a thousand tiny cuts that burn like paper cuts. Missing events like the birth of a nephew or celebrating a birthday, or even the mundane things like being able to call or text the stuff of an ordinary day just hurts.
Today I celebrate my marvelous first born. He is doing great things for our country and I am so very proud of him. But I wish I could make him a misshapen cake with frosting that is falling off the side and give him a big hug. This is a price we pay for freedom, and it is not easy, especially on days like today.
Happy Birthday kid. Keep flying high. Be Safe, Love Mom.