Last night on the way home from my sister's house, we started talking a little about Christmas. I was singing Christmas songs and in a generally good mood (considering the sinus pressure that is going to make my left eye ball pop out.) When from the back seat, I think hear a soft question. It was like she was afraid to ask it, afraid of the answer. And I really understand why.
"Is Daddy going to be home for Christmas?" she asks tentatively once again when I tell her I didn't hear. Her voice cracks a little with sadness.
"Sweetie, he won't be here this year."
"Oh, I thought he would be home by now."
Deep breaths from me, because I don't even know how to go about talking about this.
"Well he will be gone for this one, but he will be home by the next one."
"When is he going to come home?"
"Not until the summer or maybe after summer."
"Oh." After this she stays quiet for a long time. Probably mulling it over in her mind. But I try to talk to her about it, she just doesn't seem to want to talk about this anymore.
I wish I could have pulled the car over and held her tightly for a moment. This is a hard realization for anyone. I struggle with the magnitude of the length of time he will be gone often. I mark off days, weeks, months in my mental calendar. But a small child can not do that.