When this all started in January, it felt like the boys and I were given this glass case and a hamster wheel and given two options: get on and get hot, or just dwaddle. I chose to get on the wheel and start running, not knowing where it would lead. We got going so fast we were thrust off the wheel around the mid point of deployment. There we were, standing in the wood chips just starting out with our faces pressed against the glass. I just gathered my babies and went in to survival mode.
I never expected the mid-point through the end of the deployment to be the hardest. I thought by now we'd have our rhythm down pat, the kids would understand the swing of things, I wouldn't really be phased by the work load and we would just be.
Oh, you silly little Navy wife.
You kids are toddlers.
Life's not perfect.
Hello, Murphy's Law.
Here we are, at the end. I am so run down, so done, so over this separation. I called my dad about a week ago to see if he and my mom were busy this past weekend. Literally, like the 18 year old away at college, I started sobbing: I cried to my dad like a little girl. Knowing that I am at "full term" and not supposed to travel, but desperate for a break I went to Land O'Lakes. I spent a few days and, yesterday, drove myself back to Jacksonville. I cried in the driveway before I left without my kids. I cried because I was finally going to get a break, I cried because I just need this to be over, and I cried because I HATE leaving my kids. The poor little boys know that when a parent leaves there's a chance that person won't come back and that's difficult to swallow.
But, I had to. My patience could never be restored during the evenings I felt like I was really at the point of no return. Every time I look at the computer, I see a stickie note that reads: "One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life." Its something that I want to read daily as well as something that made me realize I needed to take a break.
So, as I sip my HOT coffee in a clean, eerily quiet, house I am decompressing. I am thankful for the opportunity to leave my kids with their grandparents so that I don't dump an emotional load on my husband the day he gets back. Instead, I am positive that my anxiety about the new baby and the home coming will be gone and the boys and I will have a fun-filled last full week together after they return. I am confident we will welcome John home with bright eyes and tears of joy instead of absolute tears of of exhaustion.