Before Daddy left for this last deployment he kept telling me that he was proud of me that I had really grown. I didn't see it, personally, but I thanked him. I thought he was doing the self-fulfilling prophecy thing - you know - if I tell her she has grown, she will grow.
While he was gone, I grabbed onto whatever I could to keep him close. I wrote every single day to keep him present for me and the boys, and to help him feel connected in a very foreign, isolated, lonely environment. I reread every single communication we had, cards, letters, notes jotted on the way out the door to appointments, and while we were not blogging at the time, I used journal entries to allow me to process certain things.
Daddy and I do have a discipline dynamic. I have been corrected exactly once, disciplined lots of times - yes, there is a difference for us. Correction is what some would call punishment, and discipline is more or less for reinforcing our roles, what some might call maintenance.
I read back over my thoughts at the time, and the things I said to him and I felt like my heart had been cut from my body. At the time Daddy said I was not to beat myself up over it. We had cleared the air, and it was in the past. And for a long while I didn't. But looking back at it, and the things I journaled, I was, and am appalled and ashamed at how I treated this person who is my world, who I love and respect and trust to lead me. I apologized to him again, when he came home. I am ashamed to admit that I was cold and distant and ....not the June that I am at my heart. I don't know what possessed me. It is physically and emotionally painful to recall. I said after it happened that I would try to be better. With these months between I know that I am not that person anymore. This is something that I would never, ever do to my man again. He deserves so much better than that. I might never be perfect, but I can be better, I AM better.
Part of what Daddy said at the time was that I was forgiven, and that we would leave that behind us and we would learn and grow. And we have left it behind us, for which I am grateful. And I have learned, and I have grown. I can see it now, in retrospect. I'm grateful that I have a man, a leader who leads me gently and helps me to grow so softly that I don't even feel the growing pains.
I love you, my heart, my soul, my world, my man, my Daddy. I love that you love me regardless of whether I deserve it. I love that you change me for the better. I love looking towards the horizon with you. I love that we are stronger every single moment of every single day for all of eternity, and all that comes after.