Friday, June 13, 2008

The Things that Matter... and the Things that Don't

Last night was my first official social event as Ombudsman. It was particularly stressful because our old ombudsman was given the task of making this event happen and then we switched halfway through... so it ended up being my task. The event was a kids and dad's craft night sponsored by our Fleet and Family Support. I know that I have many civilian readers out there - so basically we had counselors coming in to talk to the children about the upcoming deployment. They were discussing some of the feelings that the children might experience.
We didn't have a very good showing - only 2 dads and their kids - six children altogether. At first, I was a little disappointed, but then I started to think about the things that matter and the things that don't. Numbers don't matter quality matters.
I looked around at the children's faces... the way they were able to freely talk about their fears, their emotions and all the things they were going through WITH their dads... that was priceless. The counselor listed all the feelings that the children may be experiencing and asked everyone experiencing those feelings - like confusion, sadness, loneliness, pride, and others... to raise their hands. It was so moving to see those Dads raise their hands right along with their children.
I can honestly say that my children were able to connect with their dad in a way that I haven't seen in some time.
They made pillowcases for the children to use while the dads are deployed. Those pillowcases just brought tears to my eyes. The messages written on them were priceless - good luck in middle school, I love you, I'm so proud of you, I'll miss you ... so many emotions. The children did such an amazing job decorating them too, they really were beautiful.
Even though it wasn't a huge turnout, I am so proud to have been a part of this event. I know that the children that were there, really benefited and to me, that is what is truly important.


Chaos Mommy said...

I bet the girls had a great time connecting with their dad. Maybe this deployment will be just a bit easier because of the event :)

Moonaroo said...

I love your outlook on this event. It truly is not how many, but how much you are able to influence people for the better in daily life.

Ann M. said...

I love that you were able to do this. And you're right, it doesn't matter how many people were there--the point is that the event happened, and those who came got something out of it.