We always made our children feel special when it was their birthday. The birthday person would not have to do their daily chores on their birthday. Such as, not having to make their bed, dump trash or do the dishes. The birthday person would also choose what meals they wanted that day. Not what I had planned for dinner.
My children knew that what meals I prepared was what you got. No complaining, you just had to deal with it. So this was a big deal to to be able to select what you wanted. The birthday person really enjoyed selecting what the entire family was going to have for dinner.
When our granddaughters were living with us I followed the same tradition. Since my granddaughters birthdays were during the school year, they really thought that was special. to celebrate their birthday with their classroom I made cupcakes for the entire classroom. They cold hardly wait to take the cupcakes to school, so they could share the special day with their teacher and classmates.
It’s simple things that made my granddaughter’s birthdays special when their mom was deployed.
Being a mother you always want to know what your child was doing, even if she was full grown. When our daughter Erin deployed to Afghanistan we were very curious and so were her children. What was she experiencing in this part of the world? We had so many questions . What was her living conditions like? What the type of food was she eating? How is the weather compared to where we lived? And hoping she was in a safe environment.
We communicated in the beginning via the telephone. Due to the deployment location the phone service was marginal. Once you were connected and started to speaking on the phone , you would here an echo of yourself speaking. It made you forget what you were about to say.
There was so much we wanted Erin to share with us, but all Erin wanted to do was to learn what her daughters, my husband and myself had been doing.
One thing that allowed our daughter and granddaughters to stay connected was their school work. Our daughter would review Ivie and Bailey’s school work daily prior to her deployment. Since they were living with us now and their school work was quite different, Erin was all ears.
One day I decided to include Ivie and Bailey’s week’s work of homework, personal notes they wrote to Erin and a few personal items Erin had requested. I sent these items in a USPS priority mail military box and mailed them off. Once Erin received them she was so excited. She could see the homework progress and could then be able to talk with Ivie and Bailey about their school work. Ivie and Bailey enjoyed discussing what they had been learning and filing their mom in on how they were doing.
Every two weeks I would gather the items we would send to Erin. When we were ready to mail our box, at our local Post Office, the postal workers would greet us cheerfully knowing it was for Ivie and Bailey’s mom. Once Erin received the box, we looked forward to hearing her comments.
Erin said that this made her feel like she was still a part of her daughter’s lives, even though she was overseas.