Saying goodbye to my husband for months at a time is something that never gets easier for me. For my kids, it is at least equally as difficult. They have a fantastic father who is involved in their lives, loves to spend time with them, and is a true role model for the kind of men I hope they grow up to be. When he is gone, it takes a definite toll on their emotions.
One of the ways I like to help them cope with the separation is through children's literature. A former Reading Teacher, I have always enjoyed a good book and have seen the power of books in children's lives. Military kids are no different and we have employed a variety of books to make us laugh, help us cry when we need to, and open discussions about this deployment.
With each book, I try to find a tangible reminder of the lesson learned there ... a simple craft, a letter to our Soldier, or a small gift. I have been amazed at how my kids cherish these small tokens and hold on to them as reminders of how much their dad loves them.