> So, here’s what happened.
So, we are driving home, and I’m still feeling crappy, it’s amazing how one person saying something stupid, or not even all that stupid, just telling me company policy can totally ruin my day. I mean, it wasn’t even that big of a deal, but now I’m thinking about how much I miss DH and all the things I have to do and don’t have time for, etc. Anyway, the kids started asking me why I bought a dumb bell, I explained that I didn’t want to be flabby, they asked why it had shocks on it, I tried to explain it and decided to just let them try it. So, they are passing it back and forth when I come up with this great plan to get me out of my funk. I asked them “who is the strongest person in the truck”. They all said “me” but Z said it first, so I told him that he had to prove it by shaking the weight with his left arm all the way home (about 15 minutes). If he made it I would let him stay up until 10pm AND he didn’t have to bring up the garbage cans. If he lost the bet, he’d have to go to bed at 8pm and would have to bring up all 3 garbage cans by himself one at a time. But he had to shake right up until the second I shut the truck off in the driveway. Ha! So, he starts shaking and within 3 minutes he is sweating. 5 minutes later his neck muscles are straining. We are all yelling and cheering him on. By this time I am back to normal, having a great time with my long haired, shaggy kids and not even thinking about the I-Have-More-Piercings-Than-A-Voodoo-Doll Bitch from the mall. We get a couple blocks from the house and I stop at a Stop Sign, turn around and start cheering with his bros. It took him about 2 full minutes to realize that I wasn’t driving. I wish I had a camera, cuz the look on his face was priceless. So, I started driving, and when we get to our street I decide I’m going to do the speed limit which is 25. Now, this was extremely frustrating for him because nobody does the speed limit on my street. Literally nobody. Even the Resident State Trooper does about 40-50 mph. So, I told him that I had decided that day to be a role model for everyone in town. His bros cracked up but Z almost cried. We pull into the driveway and turn off the truck. The dumb bell falls out of his hand and the poor kid can’t even lift his arm. Too friggin’ funny. Good thing I made him use his left arm or else he’d be telling me he couldn’t go to school cuz he can’t write, lol.
So, anyway, I’m feeling normal again. I hadn’t been having a bad day up to that point which makes it that much weirder that I would react like that. But I guess emotions are never steady during deployments. I should know that by now.
All right, I’ll talk with you all later.
>OK, now, because we used to be a typical Navy family, I am not used to the rules of OPSEC that everyone talks about. DH was always on a ship and all the wives I knew had the same knowledge I did, so talking about dates didn’t matter too much. Now everything is different. So I figured, better to err on the side of caution and not talk about anything until afterwards. So, Predeployment training is over and we were lucky enough to see DH for a bit before he headed overseas. I didn’t mention this last week because I don’t know all the rules. So I have been very low profile during that time. Anyway, I’m back and looking at a very longggggg span of time without DH. Last week and this weekend were very hard. The kids have their ups and downs and thankfully they seem to have quite a few ups. But this morning one of my boys left for school crying. He is always quiet first thing in the morning so I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t say more than a few words to me while he was getting ready. Then when he gets up to go out the door, I said my standard “Bye C, I love you, have a good day” he replied with a teary “I love you too, Mom”. I asked what was wrong and he looked at me kinda weird and said “ummm, I miss Dad”. All I could say was “I do too” then I reminded him that I loved him and off he went. I think the kid’s pain is so much harder to deal with then my own. I can deal with the tearfilled nights, the frustrations, the loneliness of deployments, I just need to keep busy. But when it’s one of the kids having those days…. well, there is nothing I can do about it. And I HATE it. So, after he left I still had two other kids to get off to school so I put on my SUPER cheery face and attempted to make sure they didn’t leave for school in the same mood as their older brother. It worked with the middle son, but when it came time for the youngest to get on the bus, he got clingy. Wanted to be driven to school so he could “spend more time with me”. I was already dressed and ready to go, so I could have driven him, but I don’t want to start a habit. So, I juggled the idea for a couple minutes and decided that he should ride the bus. If I drive him today, it will only make it that much harder to ride the bus tomorrow.
So, after the boys went to school I started to get sad, almsot cried, then slapped myself back to reality (figuratively) and told myself that crying accomplishes nothing. I have given myself a few days worth of tears, now I need to get on track and what better day to start than a Monday. The beginning of the week. The boys need me to be strong right now. They can’t see me slacking on housework or staring off into space. I need to be a strong mom so they can be strong kids.
So, I started mentally noting things I want to do during this deployment, many of which I have already stated in previous blogs; lose weight, quit smoking, etc. But what I realized was that all my plans are for ME! Nothing to help the kids deal. All our previous deployments were years ago when the kids were young. They didn’t realize what was going on, they were too young to understand so all I needed to do was keep myself going. Now, it’s different, I have to keep all three of them going PLUS me. That’s a lot of work!
My problem is that aside from keeping a cheery face on I am not sure how to help them. I could use some advice from other moms of older children. How do you keep the kids from missing Dad too much?
>You know how in the movies Mother’s Day is a day of breakfast in bed, homemade cards and relaxation? Yeah, well, after 13 consecutive Mother’s Days not living up to the stuff in movies I STILL am shocked at the lengths my boys will go to to make sure that I know that this really is just an ordinary day for us.
Case in point:
I’m in my garage, contemplating mowing the grass, when I see two of my boys ride by on their bikes. I notice my youngest wearing brown shorts when this morning he was wearing white shorts with a blue stripe. I make a mental note to scold him again about changing clothes halfway through the day… I am not a laundromat. Anyway, they are giggling and laughing as they pedal up the driveway and toward the garage. Both boys SLAM on their brakes when they see me standing there. That is when I realize that it isn’t just B’s shorts that are brown, it is everything both of them are wearing, and it’s not just brown, it’s CAKED in MUD!!!!
I stand there staring at them, as they stare back with their mouths hanging open. They don’t know what to say, and neither do I. At that moment in time I didn’t have the energy to yell so I just stand there. Z finally says “ok, so, I know we are grounded now, and yes we will go take showers, but we have to put our bikes away first”. As they solemnly put their bikes down and begin to walk away I hear the ::squish squish squish:: of their sneakers full of water. That’s when I lost it. I cracked up and couldn’t stop laughing. Honestly, I’m not sure why I wasn’t mad, well, I was, but apparently the hilarity of the situation was so much stronger than the anger.
So, here are some pics for your enjoyment. I promise though, I will not be laughing when I have to clean up the bathroom when they are done. But for now, I can sit here and actually be glad that my boys refuse to give me a Fairy Tale Mother’s Day, because seriously, how boring would it be to be waited on hand and foot all day. I would go crazy with boredom! Wouldn’t you?
>So, who would have thought there would be a day, nationally recognized, celebrating me???? LOL. Being a military spouse comes with so many challenges that it feels good to be recognized. I love all the attention my husband gets for serving his country. I love watching people “thank” him with a pat on the shoulder or a handshake. I feel so proud when I see that, but sometimes, every once in a while it also feels good to hear that someone recognizes all the challenges that the family has as well.
I was “thanked” by a cashier at Sam’s Club once, and it felt really good. She started off telling my husband thank you and we are so proud of you, etc. We had told her about his upcoming deployment because we were trying to get something ordered on time. Originally they had said it would be 2-4 weeks, but they got it to us in 10 days. Anyway, when we went to pick it up she shook DH’s hand and thanked him. Then as we were walking away she said “and thank YOU for allowing him to go”. I smiled and walked away and thought to myself “well, it doesn’t matter if I give him permission or not, it’s not my decision” but later on I realized that she wasn’t talking about permission, she was talking about taking care of everything on the homefront while he is gone “allowing” him to deploy and focus on the job.
I suppose that is what we are doing…. allowing our husbands to serve our country. Not that we wear the pants or that they won’t do anything without our permission, but, if we weren’t willing/able to take care of the kids and support him throughout his career… well, maybe my ego is getting out of hand here. He is the true hero, but it is nice to here a thank you for what we (as wives) go through.
So, Happy MilSpouse Appreciation Day! Put the kids to bed early, take a bubble bath, have a glass of wine, whatever you do to relax, do it. This is our day, ladies. And thank you to all the military wives out there, I know how difficult it is, and I truly appreciate all of you.