Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So you will remember your first deployment

Dear Bradley,

You are too little to remember this first deployment, but since the end of July, when you were 13 months old, your dad has been in Afghanistan. He went there to do his job defending our nation's ideals that people should be free to live their own lives without fear. He went to help the good guys fight the bad men who are terrorizing and hurting their own people. It was a huge sacrifice on your part to let your dad go away for such a long time while he helped those other people, so thank you for understanding.

Your mom was very sad at first, but you made her happy, and helped her get through the days. From the moment you got up with your smiling face til you went down to bed at night you reminded her that she still had a job to do, even though it was just the two of you for a while.

In the 3 months your dad has been gone you have changed so much! No longer a baby, you are truly a little boy now, walking everywhere, and wearing shoes. You have learned how to point to your body parts, climb off the couch by yourself (much to mommy's chagrin), and do the "touchdown" sign. You have cycled through so many "new" favorite books, and stopped nursing altogether while adding many new favorite foods to your repertoire. You've abandoned most of your other toys in favor of any kind of ball you can get your hands on, and when you do, you throw it with all your might! Mommy has been teaching you how to kick the ball, and roll it on the ground, and you're starting to understand the concept of "catch." You went from taking two naps a day to one, and finally added your third official word to your vocabulary: hot. As in, No Bradley, that food is hot, you have to wait. And then you will knowingly say the word "hot" as you act like you have touched something warm and pull your hand away.

Mommy has kept you (and herself) busy trying lots of new things these past few months. You have experienced your first train ride (at the FL zoo with mom and Grandma Anna), your first black eye (falling off the couch when mommy wasn't watching you), your first time riding a carousel (at the Nashville zoo with mom), and your first time on a boat (the ferry in New Orleans), and been kicked out of a preschool library story time. You went to 2 Ravenwood high school football games, travelled to see Ari & Conley in New Orleans, Rhonda & Joe in Panama City, and Grandma & Grandpa B, and aunt Laura and uncle George in Tennessee twice. The first 2 months you went to the beach a lot, but now it is too cold. We took you to a special doctor back in August who gave us great news that you were perfectly okay, and you've had a couple of colds, but otherwise been totally healthy. It has been a quiet hurricane season, so we haven't had to worry about the weather while daddy was away.

Monday nights Grandma Anna has come to eat dinner with us, and play with you and put you to bed so mommy could go to choir practice in Pensacola. You love chasing Max around and touching his tongue that perpetually sticks out! On Wednesday nights you have been a trouper staying in the church nursery till 9 o'clock when mom gets out of church choir rehearsal. Three times a week you get a stroller ride in the park while mama and Miss Jessica and Miss Kim go running. Some nights you are cranky and we have to sing to you. Most nights you are content to ride along, and more than once you have thrown your sippy cup or pacifier down on the ground, leaving mommy to chase after it. Other regular activities are our weekly Kindermusik classes, and the moms' coffees where you get to play with lots of other kids your age.

The few times we have been able to video chat with daddy, your face lights up when you see him. You show off for him by giving high fives, blowing kisses, and giving mommy hugs; all new tricks you've mastered since he's been gone. I can't wait to watch your face when you spot your daddy coming towards us in that airport very soon. In the scheme of things 3 months is not that long of a time, but for a little one like you, you are growing and changing every day. I love you so much, and thank you for being such a good boy, and making this easy on mommy.

Love, mom


Anonymous said...

this is beautiful, Amanda.

Rhonda said...

Gah! I am wiping the tears from my eyes! So happy for the blessing of Bradley in your life, and so EXCITED for you to have your love back today :)

Rachel said...

Amanda, this letter was so touching and I am sure Bradley will enjoy reading it one day. You are so strong to have done this on your own for three months. I can't even being to imagine what life was like for you. I know you will be glad to have your hubby home just in time for the holidays. I appreciate your family's sacrifice for my freedom. Thank you!!