There’s an old adage in the Army which goes something like this: “When you make contact with the enemy, even the best laid plans go out the window.” As my unit has been actively training and gearing up, this has struck true more often than not – between schedule changes and last-minute requirements, preparation for deployment has had its fair share of speed bumps.
One of the more difficult things for me, as a fairly new parent, was the fact that I was going to miss my little man’s second birthday. In the grand scheme of things, I know missing it wasn’t going to have any long-term negative psychological effects on him, heck, at that age I don’t think he really understands what’s going on.
He just sees colorfully wrapped presents and wants to rip them open and play with what’s inside. I’m sure the thought of why he gets to open presents is of little to no concern. With that said, missing the birthday was more of a bummer for me as a dad; your kid only turns two once and you don’t want to miss it!
However, through all the fluctuation and movement of dates and locations where I found myself needing to be – more than 4 forts around the country in less than a month – I was grateful that I was able to be home and available for a long weekend.
These few days gave me the opportunity to finalize some things around the house, spend some quality time with friends and family, and even get everyone together to celebrate Little Man’s second birthday (albeit early).
It was nice having both sets of grandparents, his uncles and aunts, as well as his godfather and other other friends show up at our house and spend some quality time with everyone. When the birthday boy was awake, he stole the show – as he always does – and when he was down for his nap, the adults relaxed, talked, and played the occasional board game.
Naturally, the time went by too quickly, but all-in-all, we had a great time with everyone and it made for a great send off before I go overseas.