Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Bucket List

The last week was rough (it usually is, no matter how long the deployment) but we managed to start on our DC Bucket List. 

I drove the boys to Annapolis for coffee on a freezing, rainy day.

We also drove the GW Parkway to Great Falls on a different rainy day and hit the National Air & Space museum -Udvar-Hazy Center. 

Nothing huge, but it's a start AND we are on our way to a MUCH better week! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Picking Up The Pieces

As a mom, I find myself always picking up: the toys, the dishes, the laundry... It comes with the territory. You get used to it and, somehow, you manage to find the humor in the day-to-day. 

What you don't get used to as a military wife is picking up the emotional pieces. I remember when John and I first got married, we moved out to San Diego and then to Japan shortly after. Half a world away, I had to pick up my own emotional pieces when he was gone 290+ days of our 14 months there. What if I wasn't meant to be a Navy Wife? Why the hell did I leave EVERYTHING and EVERYONE I knew? 

It took a lot of soul-searching to realize I was just becoming a full-fleged adult living away from anything and everything I ever knew. I picked up my pieces and moved on. 

Enter kids. 

Our first deployment post-kids wasn't terrible. I mean, I WAS pregnant with our third son (and may or may not have had an actual panic attack for the first time) while caring for two toddlers four hours away from any family. It was EMOTIONALLY exhausting. I found myself aggrivated. A lot. Not at my kids, but at the situation: 18+ months of no Daddy around had me feeling like I was a single parent. {John didn't even know Eli had learned to walk!} It's hard not to feel that way, but I was able to keep my emotions in check as realized I signed the dotted line when I married this man. The entire duty station left Turner angry and that was very hard to deal with. I picked up the pieces. 

Another deployment, another age group older. Each of the kids manifested different "symptoms" of deployment. One of the more difficult was Eli; he immediately stopped talking about John. Instead, Eli talked about his "grandfadder." John's dad is someone we never talk much about since death is hard for kids to understand. Eli, however, is a sensitive soul and understood more than we ever knew about his Grandpa. Eli completely eliminated John and talked, instead, about Jonathan. That was really hard -realizing that Eli's coping skills involved building an impeneratrable wall. I, again, picked up the pieces. 

We have moved now (again), and I feel like emotions are at a high (again). Turner is mad at me, Eli put up his wall (actually, he told our neighbor that John is dead) and Deacon is nothing short of violent at the mention of John's name. Monday evening, I picked up the pieces. Tuesday, I picked up the pieces. Wednesday, I had a big glass of wine and picked up the pieces. Thursday, I picked up the pieces. 

Today, I pick up the pieces and put them back where they belong. One day this will all be worth the time spent apart. Some times, I wonder...but in my heart I know that as hard as it is to watch my kids go through these big emotions our life is worth it.

Again, I pick up the pieces.