Our spouses or lovers.
At the end of the day, though, for parents, there is only one view that we fear the most.
The way our children view us.
What are we showing them, what will they think about who we are and what we've taught them with our actions?
I look into the eyes of my daughter and I squeeze her ever growing hand, wondering what she will remember of these times.
What will she remember of me?
She remembers so much detail from years ago and I worry which moments will stick out for her in the future.
Am I being strong enough for her?
Am I being the kind of woman I want her to grow to be?
Am I showing her how to face life with grace and understanding?
Am I showing her how to be the one in the driver seat to take control of her life and not let it happen to her but to make things happen for her?
Am I giving her the tools to be happy?
Or are these deployments and separations keeping me so thinly stretched that all she will remember is someone barely hanging on to her sanity?
Will she remember me sitting in the bathroom trying not let them hear me cry after we said goodbye the second time?
Will she remember that I tried time and time again to make a difference for the families around us?
Will she remember a stressed out crazed mom that never had enough time to play Barbies for as long as she wanted to?
Will I be blamed for the years that she has missed with her father or will she commend me for fighting through deployment after deployment?
What will her opinions be?
What will history say of us?
I wonder if she will remember the endless hours on the phone and the computer trying to help other families or will she just see that as time that I chose them over her?
Will she find the spouses of these wars as strong, courageous, wonderful women who she can admire and aspire to be like as I do with the women of WWII?
What lessons will stick with her that will help her in her life?
I try every day to remember that I am the model she has.
I am her teacher of how to tackle life and her eyes are always watching and judging.
I am the one who shows her through example how to live.
That is a cross every mother bears and we must strive every moment to bear it with grace.
This doesn’t mean I don’t mess it up, but it does mean that I need to acknowledge my failings and ask for forgiveness as well as try to improve the next time I screw up.
It does mean that when I need help I need to ask for it, and when I am drowning I need to acknowledge it.
That is what I want her to be able to do and that is what I should do.
I should not be ashamed of not being able to do everything and I need to ask for help when I need it.
Suffering in silence does not help anyone.
What will our children think of how we faced these wars?
What will be said to their children about us?