eight years ago,
if someone told me that
eight years later
we would have four girls under five
six deployments under our belts
if someone told me that we would have,by now, lived in four states
in seven houses
i would have laughed. and maybe there would have been a little bit of a tremor in my hand. a tiny falter in my smile. not visible or apparent to anyone, but there nonetheless.
my heart might have raced.
i might have thought...really? no. that can't be right! we are going to have TWO children! one boy and one girl!
he's not going to have to go away that many times. because i don't know how to do anything by myself! i can't live at fort drum because i don't know how to drive in the snow!
i can't have a baby without him there!
i know he's in the army, but west point isn't the same as the real thing. i'm scared. can i do this? am i meant to do this?
yes, you can do this.
because first of all it's not *you*.
with the love of a good man and our father above
you will have more than you have ever dreamed of.
you will learn to be independent.
you will fall in love with four little girls, each one of them very different. and all four of them incredible.
that first deployment? will be scary alright. as will all the ones that follow.
but you will do it. you will learn to dig your car out of snow, you will survive. and you will feel so much stronger because of it.
you will learn how to put your heart into all seven homes. how to make them "home". you will learn that pictures on the wall and books on the shelves don't define where home is. no, not at all.
home is where the two, three,four, six of you are (depending on the year). sometimes home may consist of some of you in one place, and one of you in a makeshift shelter in another country.
but you will ALWAYS be connected by love, respect, and commitment.
you will have a baby without him there.
but it's not as scary as it sounds. and he will walk in two hours later and you will be okay.
he will take care of you. and his girls.
he will be honest, faithful, brave, strong,truthful,and protective.
oh, and really really funny. you will lose track of how many times he makes you laugh so hard you cry.
he will hold your hand, rub your back, or GIANT pregnancy feet. he will guide you into a room with his hand on the small of your back and never leave your side.
he will talk you through some of the most scary moments of your life.
whether it be first time labor, cutting your finger to the bone with a new chef's knife, or not knowing if he will come home to you alive.
all it will take from him will be an "i love you, it will be okay" to calm your heart.
also? he will be the best daddy EVER. ever. hands down. your little girls will grow up with their hero for their daddy.
sure, you will frustrate each other.
his tendency to justify the reason he did or say something instead of simply saying "i'm sorry" will anger you.
your tendency to say "NOTHING" when he asks what wrong will anger him.
but you will learn to talk through these things.accept them. and grow.
today is the best thing you will ever do. best choice you will ever make. today starts a miracle.
and at that point eight years ago my heart would have calmed.
i would have looked into his brown eyes and smiled. and said "i do".
it was the beginning of a beautiful,crazy,scary,hilarious,terrifying ride.
and the Lord had (has) so much more in store for us that we could have ever imagined.
happy 8th anniversary, james carr howell.
i love you.