Last week was one I am glad to put behind me.
Our kids have been struggling with knowing Jerome is going to be deploying.
Spencer hasn't been sleeping well at night. He told me the other day, "I can't sleep at night mom. I just lay there and can't get dad leaving off of my mind. I am upset he has to go."
We talked a little bit about it. I reminded him that his dad doesn't leave for at least six more months. I told him his dad reminded me the other night that he doesn't want us to be sad now, he wants us to just enjoy every day together.
He said, "I know mom, but it still hurts."
I told him I know and that I understand how he is feeling. Truth be known I feel the same.
The week before that Spencer was making things to hang on his wall in his bedroom. I noticed a paper with numbers, somewhat of a countdown. I didn't say anything to him, I've found that sometimes it is better to just let them come to you.
Later that evening he asked me to come look at what he had hung up on his wall.
He was happy and excited to show me.
My eyes first wondered to the paper with numbers, "What's this?" I asked him. He didn't say anything....but I knew what it was.
Then I looked up above that paper and read what he had wrote on another paper and hung on his wall.
The paper said, "With great power, comes great responsibility".
"That's from Spiderman, right?" I asked him.
He was silent.
I knew without turning around to look at him that something was wrong....I could just feel it.
I turned around, his face was flushed and he was holding back what looked like the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Then the words of that quote rang in my head. And I realized what he was thinking, or somewhat feeling.
"Do you feel like you are responsible for us when your dad is away?" I asked him.
He broke down crying and said, "Yes. Everyone keeps saying I'll be the man of the house when he leaves."
My heart broke into a million pieces for him. I gave him a hug, he cried on my shoulder. And I told him that that is just something people say. I told him the only responsibility he has is to concentrate on his academics, work hard on football and keep up with his stuff here at home, nothing that isn't expected of him when his dad is here. About that time Jerome came home from work, heard us talking back in Spencer's room and came back there with us.
Jerome sat down on his bed with him and asked him what was bothering him. The three of us had a long talk. We did a lot of reassuring Spencer that everything was going to be OK, that he needs not to worry about all of this right now and that his dad is there for him to talk to, even when he is deployed.....he reminded him that we will still be able to communicate with each other when he is deployed.