Wouldn’t you know it. The day I finally admit this deployment thing is bringing me down (see previous post) is the same day I receive a super sweet and thoughtful letter from a reader who wanted to thank me for keeping a sense of humor amidst life’s challenges by not presenting myself as another “whiny military wife.”
Um, too late. Whiny military wife reporting for duty!
I admit, I kind of cringed when I read those words. It made me feel like I had let readers (well, one reader anyway) down by admitting that I don’t actually leap out of bed everyday singing the Star Spangled Banner. I never even sent Jake a birthday present. What do you send a guy in Afghanistan, anyway? An iPod? An Amazon gift card for his Kindle? Another box of cookies and some Ritz crackers? More photos? Part of it was due to a lack of imagination on my part, and part of it is Jake not being the easiest person to buy for (he wants nothing but tools I’ve never heard of). I had intended to make him something — you know, one of those gift-from-the-heart kind of things that conveniently cost no money to produce — but even that felt like a cheesy cop out. ”Look, honey! Another one of my construction paper creations. See how the unicorn wraps its wing around the heart? That symbolizes our love!” So I sent nothing, finally deciding I’m giving him the greatest gift a father could ask for: Raising our daughter myself who, so far, shows no signs of growing up to be like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club.
The whiny military wife has been suppressed for another day.