As far as deployments go, we Boomer families have it pretty easy. Our sailors are “only” gone a few months at a time, but a lot of big things can happen in just three months. A lot of little things can happen in a few months, too. Fabulous preschool art work comes home. Report cards are celebrated (or not). School pictures arrive; spring pictures are taken. And those things are important, too, so when a friend shared her idea of the “Since You’ve Been Gone” box, I knew we had to try it out!
My friend uses a basket and has her mil-kids drop in anything – school work, report cards, artwork – that they’d like to save for daddy to see when he comes home. It piles up (but only in the special basket), and when daddy gets home he has a neat pile of all the little things that came and went to look through when he has a moment here or there.
I freaking LOVE this idea!
So often during a patrol, I’ve heard the girls say, “I wish I could show Daddy,” or “I wish Daddy was here so I could tell him, too!” The downside of Boomer deployments is that with the exception of spotty emails here and there and the rare possibility of a mail drop, we don’t have ANY COMMUNICATION WHATSOEVER. Anything we want to show or tell Daddy just has to wait until he gets home, and we really needed a nice way to organize it all.
I picked up this pretty flexifile at the Target Dollar Spot and added a label for each kiddo (and me), and I plan to keep it in the family room where we spend most of our time. Anytime the kids bring home something special from school they can tuck it into their file. Whenever they have a funny story to share, they can write it out and slip that in, too. (Bonus! Writing practice!) Anything larger than a sheet of paper will have to find a different home, but we have a few shelves in the living room for those masterpieces!
Our next patrol will be our first time trying out our “I Want to Tell Daddy!” file, but my hope is that we’ll each fill it up with great treasures and then get to spend one-on-one time with our sailor when he returns!
How do you manage all the little things your sailor misses during deployment?