Deployments suck. There is no way around it. They really suck when it is the third in just over two and a half years. They really, really suck when you have a just turned three year old who has only had Daddy back for 6 months before saying goodbye again. It's hard to help him understand the concept of Daddy coming home...but not for many months. After all, how hard is it to wrap your mind around months at an age where hours seems like an eternity?
I felt like it was very important that we come up with some way to help Parker count down to Daddy coming home to us again. He really needed something for him to look at that he could actually see changing and bringing us closer to the homecoming we are all so anxiously waiting for.
Enter the Daddy Kisses jar.
We went to Wal-Mart and bought a decorative glass vase for a couple of dollars. (I could have gone up to Boise and bought one for a quarter at the thrift store too, but I wanted it done ASAP.) I also picked up a large party sized bag of Hershey's Kisses. Add some colorful scrapbooking stickers and, ta-da, you have our Daddy Kisses jar!
The idea is that every night Parker gets to have one candy Daddy Kiss. When all the candy kisses are gone it's time for Daddy to come home! It is a wonderful visual for him because he can actually watch the number of kisses getting lower and see that we are getting closer to Daddy coming home! Not to mention, what kid doesn't like having a piece of candy right before bed? (Before the dental community comes knocking down my door, he gets his Daddy Kiss before he brushes his teeth.)
I actually really like this idea, and I think that it is really helping Parker cope. When he is old enough, Sebastian will have a Daddy Kisses jar for deployments and TDYs too. Hell, I might even make one for me. I think I've earned it. Of course, if he keeps deploying at this rate, I'll also gain about 50lbs.
Of course, the number is just an estimate based on when his orders say he is going to come home. There is a very good chance I will have to sneak in a few more kisses at some point and just pray that Parker doesn't notice. (Fat chance of that.) Deployments can be tricky and unpredictable like that, but I am hoping this is pretty close to accurate.
Neat, right? I'm proud of it.