There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Adam is one of the few people I call a hero. I could go on and on about his accomplishments, but that would be the world's longest blog post. The other day it hit me - Addison, all 13 years of him, is also one of my heroes. Not just because the chicks dig him and his blue eyes, but because of his strength and resilience, all honed through all of his years of being a military child.
Every mother knows how awful they feel when their child is sick or in pain, and there's only so much they can do to help them. When dropping Adam off for his latest deployment, I watched as Addison clung to Adam, and would have continued to stand there forever if it meant his father didn't have to go to war yet again. I know as a wife what that feels like, but as a child, I can't even begin to imagine what goes through his head and his heart.
I've done my best when Adam has been gone to be both a mother and a father. I've taken him fishing, played baseball, and tried to do everything they enjoy doing together as father and son. I can't replace Adam. I know it's not the same for Addison, and I am grateful he isn't squeamish about taking a fish off the hook for me. He's good about humoring me.
Addison knows what it's like to not have his father there for his birthday, his first day of school, a whole season of football and baseball, Christmases, etc. And yet, he is still well-adjusted. His sense of humor blows me away. He makes me laugh every single day with his own unique way of looking at the world.
I don't know what it's like to see your father go to war again and again and again. Addison's life, since the age of two, has been this way. He doesn't remember the first few deployments. He will always remember Christmas of 2004, when he was five, it was Adam's first Christmas overseas, and he and my best friend played Super Mario Bros. all day long together. He may not remember how I tried to paste a smile on my face all day for his sake, yet was crying on the inside.
He makes me stronger, makes me want to be a better mother, and gives me a reason to get up every single day and try even harder. I'm so incredibly grateful for him, every single day. We all know our servicemembers and veterans are heroes, but so are our military children, who live lives quite unlike other children.
Addison, I am proud to be your mother, because you make me proud as my son. I couldn't do this without you. We are a great team!