Chaining Daddy ..from home to Iraq:Making Deployment a time of growth for Children

July 31, 2008 | Categrory: kids and deployment, making deployment a time of growth for young children, military families, military kids, parenting

My oldest son is on his last day home. In a few hours he and I will drive to the airport in Denver and he will board a plane back to his Army life. He will trade squirt guns for the real thing, and we will begin our vigil of prayer and waiting. He has been to Iraq before, but it seems that the idea never gets easier for me. I am still a Mom. His children are too young to know how long he will be away, to them a year is eternity. Remember when you were a kid, the school year seemed at least five years long?!

I read a post on a blog yesterday about making the construction paper chain, but this was a twist on that old idea. You make the chain for the number of weeks your loved one will be away, then , each week after deployment, you take a link off the chain, have the children write what they did that week, and send it off to Dad.

Somewhere in Iraq, the paper chain will be getting longer, signifying the days behind your soldier. At home, the chain is getting shorter, signifying that Dad will be back that much sooner. This also keeps the absent parent up on the things the kids think are important ( which may be different than what the at home parent thinks is important ), and keeps the bond between parent and child.

I will be getting out my construction paper and scissors, very soon, and getting the thoughts of my grandchildren on links of construction paper. I think I will have to send my son one of those little mini staplers, so that the chain can grow over his bed, or wherever he has a bit of space. Maybe in a few months he can send a photo of his chain, linking him to home from Iraq.