Emotionally, in the last week, I have been a wreck. I have been struggling greatly with the fact that Aubrie is very likely our last baby, these are likely our last baby firsts, and Aaron is missing it all. He missed her birth, her first cry, the first time she opened her eyes, the first time she nursed, he wasnt in her first pictures, her first diaper changes, her first outfit, her first time in the car seat, her first car ride, the moment her sisters got to meet her, the first time they kissed her and huged her and instantly loved her. He missed her first night at home, her first bath, her first time in the wrap, her first trip to the store, the first time she was awake for more than 10 minutes and her first tummy time. He’s missing all her cute grunts and squeeks and he wont ever get to burp her or feel her cuddle up to him on his chest. He wont even get to meet her until she is nearly 9 months old. Still plenty of firsts left to have, but it doesnt change how much him missing all of the ones before that hurt.
Today, in the mail, I received a letter to Miss Aubrie Turner. It broke my heart and warmed it all at the same time. It was from a Lieutenant Colonel in Aaron’s Engineering Battalion. I wont share all of it, but just the most important parts. It read:
Long before you are old enough to read this letter, the paper will have yellowed. But that does not deter us from taking this opportunity to welcome you into our world. At the time of your birth, your father was a … in the … Engineering Company and the proudest man in the world. . .
Your dad’s duties did not always permit him to spend much time with your mother as they were waiting for your arrival. Your mother understood and made us all very proud of her, as she stood strong during these very early days of your development. . . In the years ahead, your father will wish that he had more time to be with you as you discover the fun of crawling and the freedom that comes with your first step. he’ll wish he could be there when you bump your head and help you as you unravel the mystery of reading. If he cannot always be by your side, try to understand and take pride in the fact that he has a very special, but demanding calling. The time he gives and the energy he expends are the price of freedom. Patriots, like your family, are what make this country great. . .”
I dont even have the words to explain how important it was for me to read this today. How much it helped. I will save this letter and share it with her one day when she’s old enough to understand, but for now I shall keep it close as my own reminder and understanding, why we choose to live this life, even when its hard.