So, my son. is. awesome. Let me start by giving some background. This week the squadron that K works with had a Change of Command. This event happens every fifteen months: the Executive Officer (XO) takes over the role of Commanding Officer (CO) of the squadron. It’s a really BIG deal to everyone involved. The two officers changing command were both mentors of K’s and his fellow junior officers in the squadron he was a part of in Japan. That being said, a few of those then junior officers, who are now more senior or no longer Navy, arrived in California this week to attend and celebrate this change of command. A couple of these fellas hung out at our house between events. They were on our front porch sitting in rocking chairs drinking beers, catching up and enjoying some man-time.
Okay, so now here’s a little bit about my awesome son. While these guys are shooting the “sheet”, as K likes to say, C was in quiet time. Quiet time is ninety minutes of alone time in his room, in lieu of a nap. Mommy still needs her own quiet time, so he goes to his room to read or play while his sisters actually sleep. The only reason he is allowed to come out of his room is if he has to go #2… which he often does. He must hold it or just time it perfectly, because during most quiet times, C comes out to go. On this particular day while man-time was in progress, C did what he normally does and called down the stairs to let me know he had some business to take care of. He had already gone once that day, but I conceded, and told him to come down. Before he went into the bathroom, he asked if he could go outside and say hi to Daddy. Hmmm… I smiled to myself and again, conceded. I just had this feeling that he was dying to join the dudes outside and was faking his need to use the bathroom. Mommy knows her little boy. I was so right.
All of this discussion with C happened at a distance; I was in the kitchen, C on the stairs. I listened carefully as he went outside. Daddy and his two friends greeted him warmly, and one friend invited him to sit next to him. C decided he needed a chair too, and went to the playroom to retrieve his fuzzy Elmo chair. All the other guys were sitting in chairs, why not C? After I finished cleaning up the kitchen, I just had to go see what he was up to. Elmo was seated next to a rocking chair, but C had decided to play God with some rolly-pollies (pill bugs) and was squashing them on the front walk. I went to him to confront his lie about needing to “go”, but let him know that I understood that he wanted to be a part of man-time, which indeed, was a special time, since Daddy had been gone for so long. I encouraged him to go back up to the porch... he did.
The next thing he decided he needed was a drink. The men have beer. He needs apple juice. I willingly obliged. I handed him his cup and leaned on the front door frame to admire my sweet son. C sat down on Elmo and sipped his beverage like Daddy and the “other Daddies” as C’s sister called them earlier in the day. He crossed his legs. I glanced around… yep, every one of them have theirs crossed too… just rockin’ and drinkin’. He smiled at me when he realized that I noticed his imitation. After returning his smile with one of my own, I retreated indoors so he could man it up. After a few minutes, C set his drink down and went back to the playroom in search of something. I heard him call to me, “Mom, where’s the phone that goes with the kitchen?” We did a quick sweep of some toy bins and found it. C returned to his chair, and set the phone down next to his drink on the ground. Unbelievable. I laughed out loud. iPhones and Blackberries lay on the ground next to each of the other chairs. C was really taking this very seriously! I was astonished and elated at his emulation of his Daddy and Daddy’s friends. C did an absolutely excellent job examining the details of manhood and made sure he had all that was required. Awsome.
I am not looking forward to the next deployment, whenever that is. C needs his Daddy. So do the girls. But watching C, my little man, so blatantly and excitedly want to be like the men on the porch, reminded me of just how important Daddies are in the lives of their kids. Daddies set the tone for the life of their children. Moms are the servants… feed, clothe, bathe, etc. But Dads speak to the spirit of their children in a way that only Dads can. Daddies can give their kids wings to fly high with confidence and self-worth. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. That is why I pray that the Lord will make Himself known to my children early in their lives… that they will be able to understand why Daddy is gone for so long and that they will look to Him as their Father, whether their earthly father is home or on a ship serving his country. That is why I pray that during the days and months when K is home, that their time with Daddy is everything they need it to be to account for the time when he’s not. It’s hard. I worry a lot about my children… whether we are doing all that we should for them in this season. I know, I know… worry is a giant waste of time and energy, so instead of worrying, I will just keep praying for God’s grace to cover them. So glad I can rest in that truth. C, E & M are such special and amazing little people… who really LOVE their Daddy.