Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why I'm NOT a MilBlog

Today I am reminded of why I don't like to call myself a MilBlog. My entry today is not about this war, Iraq, Iran or weapons of mass destruction that may or may not be here.

Today it is about my children and how much they help me focus on what really matters in my life. As I have said before, I don't believe I was sent to this place to kill bad guys, though I gladly would. I believe I was sent here to give me time away from everything and everyone I love and care about. It is to force me to figure out what is important in my life and to never take the people I love for granted. It is to force me to figure out how to take time to appreciate the small things, because when they are gone, they are always so much bigger.

When I talked to my kids last night, it was awesome as always. It never matters what my day was like, how busy or tired or fatigued I am. It is my time that brings me back and reminds me that my time here will come to an end and I will be going home. I will be back with my family and friends and I will have time with my kids, though it will never be enough. I know now how important the little things are.

When I called my kids the other night they were playing dominos with my ex-wife and her mom. I talked to my daughter and she seemed a little too pre-occupied to talk to me in the middle of her game, but I didn't mind. Just the sound of her voice was nice.When my son got on the phone I asked him how we was doing and he told me not very good. He went on to say that he won some games the other night. I asked him if he cheated and he said he won without even cheating.

I had sent their mom some extra money this month to buy a couple video games for their Wii. I had asked him what he got and if he liked them. He went over and started reading off all the games. One of the games, Mario something, he said they didn't play that often because he wasn't very good at it. I told him I was pretty good at that one, thinking maybe I would sound cool. He did confirm that was cool and asked if I could teach him to play it when he comes to visit. I said of course and am now scrambling to learn how to play. He read off a couple more and I told him I wasn't very good at the other games and he said that when he comes to visit he could teach me to play if I wanted. How could I refuse an offer like that, I confirmed for him how cool that will be.

He was excited to tell me about his field trip to the Pumpkin Patch this Friday and told me I could go if I wanted to. I told him I would love to go and before I could finish with the "but" why I couldn't he interrupted with, "That will be great. You gotta be here by two days." It broke my heart to hear him so eager to have me be a part of his life when I can't do anything about it. I told him I won't be able to make it this year, but maybe I could go next year.

He said okay with the crushing resiliency that he is familiar with knowing I am not in his life. He is used to the fact I am not there for the little things. The things that I now would kill for to be a part of so that one day he will look back and remember the year I drove 1000 miles to help him pick-out a pumpkin on his field trip for school. He will remember the summer he came to visit and taught me how to play Mario Brothers when we got back from fishing all day.

There are so many fond memories I have of the times I have spent with my children these past few years because I take time to be with them, even for the little things. Many times my son's attitude would upset me or my daughter's interference with my dealings with him; she is quite the mother hen. I often pause and reflect on the moment and wonder what my children are thinking of me at that moment. Will they reflect back on that moment months or years from now as a defining moment in my relationship with them? I hope not. I hope I give them so many wonderful times that when I do have to be the daddy, they won't just have those times to remember me by.

I hope that they look back at our lives, at me and remember that I took time out with them; time out to enjoy the little things.