As I sit here typing away, I can't help but think about how this move is affecting my family. My wife, of course, is super excited to be moving to Texas. A battalion command is pretty much the pinacle of an Army officer's career. This is a huge opportunity to her and it is something that she has dreamed of. For me, I'm also looking at this as an opportunity. As a young captain's husband all those years ago, I was treated pretty unfairly by our battalion commander's wife. I want to make sure that something like that doesn't happen in our battalion. Further, I'm hoping to simply be a help/support/mentor to younger spouses who may be new to the Army life.
For my oldest, though, this has been quite hard. Fort Bragg was the first place that he ever developed an close friendship to another person. He had two other guys that formed this little group. They are very close and are the best of friends. When he got off the bus on Friday the tears were flowing. It was heart wrenching to watch my son sobbing. Understand, this is not a kid who cries often. He's a very mature 10 year old. Not long after the bus had pulled away, one of the other two kids rode over our house with his mom just to say goodbye. As both boys hugged, they both were in tears.
Watching this transpire brought on an unwelcome realization: this is the first of many more difficult farewells to come. Now that my kids are getting older, they are going to start finding it harder and harder to say goodbye to close friends. And while this is something that you hate to see happen, it is, unfortunately, a part of the Army life. In our travels with the Army over the last 13 and a half years of marriage, there have been truly amazing people that have come into my life. I've made great and lifelong friends nearly everywhere we've been. And, without fail, I've had to tell them all goodbye. Oh sure, there's Facebook, Skype, Twitter. There's no finality to goodbye any more if you really want to stay in touch. That said, these are people who I no longer have the privilege of their company. And while it's nice to stay in touch, a computer screen is no substitute for face to face.
And so my children are now learning that with farewell comes pain, sorrow, and the sense of loss. They are beginning to understand what heartache actually feels like. And they are learning that sometimes it's OK to cry.
BUT... they are also GOING to learn that with each new assignment, each new city comes the joy of meeting new people. They'll learn that while some people exit our lives, new people come in to take their places. So, as the picture above says... just hold on and wait for tomorrow. It's gonna be great. But for today... ONWARD.
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