Dear Mrs. Marine,
What kinds of things do you do to make birthdays, holidays and other special days "special" when your spouse can't be there for them?
My son just turned 3 and my husband missed his birthday due to being at a school. My parents came down to celebrate his birthday and we had a little party and let him pick out his cake. He had fun and didn't seem to mind that daddy wasn't there.
Dear Special Days,
My husband has unfortunately missed several birthday’s, my kids were born in the same month, so if he misses one, he misses both, at least its fair. You have the right idea; you had other family there to help you celebrate! The most important thing is that your child feels loved and knows the absent parent is thinking of them. One idea is, if possible, have your spouse make a video with a special birthday/holiday wish ahead of time that the child can watch on the special day! Also, if your spouse is able to send a special gift from wherever they are that is unique to the location, for example, I always like those T-shirts, “Someone who loves me went to Japan and got me this shirt”. During one deployment, my husband bought two little stuffed bears. He slept with them for a few days so they smelled like him and had someone take a picture of himself holding the bears. Then he sent us a package with the bears and emailed me the picture, my kids loved it!