Claire is now 15 months old. She is now a walking, talking, very, very sassy little girl. Bud left when she was almost 1. She was walking, but carefully, almost talking, and still a baby in our eyes.
I sent him a video of her the other day and he responded saying he watched it with Tim (his team leader) and this is how the conversation went...
Bud: When did she grow up?
Tim: Apparently while you were fighting for her freedom.
Of all the things Bud has said to me in the last 3.5 months, this one really stuck. Our baby has grown into a toddler, who is talking, full of opinions and running my house. Yet, he is thousands of miles away, making sure she is able to grow up in a free country, where she can do whatever it is she wants to do.
Every time Claire does something new, I think to myself how much I wish he was here. I wish he could see everything like I do. I wish he didn't miss meal times to watch her eat like a pig. I wish he didn't miss doctor appts so I am the only one who has to suffer through Claire screaming. I wish he didn't miss vet visits, of me worrying about Lacey when I really didn't need to. I wish he could be home the first time Claire asked for her dada. I wish, I wish, I wish.
Yet, my life will be full of wishes. He WILL miss things. She will do things that he won't see until he gets home. I WILL have to do a lot by myself.
And, still, I am so incredibly thankful for the life I have. I have a husband is who behind me 110% and trusts my opinion on everything. I have a little girl who kisses and hugs me all day, every day to remind me how much I am loved. I have parents, in-laws and siblings who check in on me, to make sure I am doing okay. We own a beautiful home, with a little bit of land for Claire and Lacey to explore.
For those of you who have not experienced it, homecomings (almost) make it all worth it. The extreme excitement of getting ready, and waiting for your love to be back in your arms, erases everything. We still have a while yet to wait, but our FAVORITE guy will be home this spring and we CAN NOT wait.
Every single day, I think of how much I wish he were here. I think about how much of Claire's life he is missing, and yet how thankful I am that he IS there. Every night about 5 I wish he were on his way home, instead of so far away.I go to bed alone (except for Lacey) every night, and want to roll over and see his face. He is an amazing man, a successful Marine, and if I want anyone there protecting me, it's him. He is my hero.