Horatio left yesterday.  The past week has been rough.  He has been very sad about leaving his family behind, of course.  He reminded himself, again and again, though, that it was the right decision for us all.  Even if we went with him, we’d hardly ever be together, he will be gone so much of the time.

For those of who who have been following the blog, you probably have noticed I changed Sheldon’s name.  After some time passed, he decided that the name didn’t suit him, so he chose Horatio.  Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Navy hero he has always enjoyed, so it seems to fit. I hope you will excuse the poor blog etiquette and adjust to the new name.

The departure itself went pretty much like I expected it to go.  Our oldest, 12 year old Zack, who has Aspergers syndrome, hugged his Dad, said goodbye, and got back into the car. #3, 6 1/2 year old Bob, did pretty much the same, but with some quiet tears.  #4, 3 year old Harold, was confused.  He hugged and kissed Daddy and said he would miss him, but by that afternoon, he was asking where Daddy is.

It was #2 I was most concerned about and my worries were justified.  Dwight was distraught.  He broke down in tears while hugging his Dad.  After a few moments, I pulled Dwight over to me so that I could comfort him.  Horatio was torn.  He didn’t know what to do.  His instinct was to comfort his son, but he knew if he did, it would make the situation harder for both of them.  So, with a nod from me, Horatio pushed his luggage cart away and into the airport.

In addition to being devastated by his dad’s departure, Dwight was also carsick from the hour long drive to the airport.  So, I did not want to make the long trek back home right away.  I decided we should go to the mall where I could give him some Dramamine and give it time to take effect before heading home.
I let the boys browse at Gamestop.  They gave me a few ideas for upcoming birthday gifts, which was helpful.  I let them each buy a small container for storing their game cartridges and Mighty Beans.  That helped cheer them up a little bit.
We made a stop to look at the cheerful mall Santa and then, up ahead, I spotted a Sweet Factory candy store and inspiration hit…  I said, in an enthusiastic voice, “who wants to go to the candy store?”  All four boys looked at me in disbelief and then, in hesitant but enthusiastic voices, stated their desire to go.

I told them that they could each choose two items.  Zack chose one of the bulk sour candies and a container of bubble gum tape.  Dwight chose a lollipop that is larger than his head, and a video game character shaped tin with candy inside.  Bob chose two video game control tins with candy inside and Harold chose a giant, classic, lollipop and a Backyardigans stuffed toy, that he now carries around and sleeps with at night.

So, $30 lighter, I walked out of the store with a smile on my face that only grew wider when Dwight said, “Mom, I still miss Dad a lot, but I feel a little better now.”

Money well spent.

Candy makes everything better

About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a writer, editor, teacher, and (Autism) mom.
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