Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 9: Roadtrip, Rules, and Remember Please

What I learned today: a road trip with two toddlers is a lot differ than a road trip with a toddler and a baby.

I am so thankful that Erin made this trip with me. I drove and she did everything else. Fed them, rescued dropped toys, entertained them with her dancing and singing abilities. By the end of the trip I had... two carseats full of "saved for later" snacks, cars/trains covering the floorboard that had been launched in frustration, a tangled mess of blankets and stuffed animals that had been traded a few hundred times, and I think I found and itty bitty bit of Erin and I's sanity between the empty Starbucks cups.

By the time we were an hour away, Jack had enough of everyone and everything. So we did what any other person would do in the situation and popped "MJ's Greatest Hits" in the CD player.

Crisis averted.

The drive from Fort Campbell makes you a particular kind of crazy. I've driven all over this beautiful country of ours and I'm telling you this is the most boring drive... ever. Even rural Montana was more exciting than this folks. Eighty percent of the view is this.

I was sooooooo very ready to get out of the car when we finally arrived. The boys were as well. Jack and Avery talked to each other like to old friends that hadn't seen each other in 20 years, and Jonah literally ran laps around my mom's house. Haha. I was starting to think they'd gone mad

[Sorry it's blurry, that's the most still I could get them]
The boys are finally asleep downstairs. Here's to hoping Jonah will only wake up once tonight and Jack will only kick me in the head (or elsewhere) once or twice. I have been dragging out composing this blog for over an hour now, hoping my husband would get online or call. I can't procrastinate much longer though, the boys are sure to be up bright and early and it doesn't look like the phone is going to ring no matter how many times I stare it down. This will be the first time we've went more than 24 hours without talking since he left. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but it is. Try thinking about how it would feel if you woke up without your husband, spent all day re-insisting that daddy would not be in Nanny's house, and then went to bed that night without hearing his voice of reassurance. On top of that, not knowing where he is and trying to make yourself assume he's safe because you haven't got a phone call (because that's what we're told to do). Not how I wanted to end my day, but I'm going to try my best to sleep anyways. I have to try even if I fail I suppose.
I am hopeful this week we are about to spend in Ohio will provide an abundance of emotional support for the boys and I. Being around friends and family great. I am also scared. Being home means I have to face the fact that Jeff is gone again. When he is gone, I visit our families alone. I have a suitcase full of stuff, none of which is his (even though I did start to pack his out of habit). I answer silly questions about deployment (i.e. "Where is he?" "Do you miss him?" "How do you do it?" and my favorite.. "Is it hard?"). I have to hear about how everyone else misses him so much. I have to do a lot of things that I really would rather not. It's hard to explain. On a military post.. A 22-year-old mother with two small children, alone, crying at the drop of a pen... is completely normal. Here, in civilian world.. It is not. I understand I cannot change how the world operates, I would be silly to think that my life and our situation (being as foreign as it is to most folks around here) would not attract some attention. I just wish people would think before they speak. So if you see me, or any milspouse for that matter, all I ask of you is to try your best to not make it worse. Offer a hug or a "hey it's really great to see you" and smile, don't pity me... I can assure you I pity myself enough in private (: It is totally okay to ask about my deployed husband. You can ask practical questions that I can answer, like "What country is he in?" "How long will he be there approximately?" "Have you heard from him?" "How was he the last time you spoke with him?" Of course I will be happy to see and talk to anyone, even those that may forget to consider how emotional some topics may make my children and/or I. I do ask that you be considerate if my eyes get a little watery. And on the off chance I do let a tear fall, remember that I don't allow that often and let me do what I need to do.
It's also important that you remember to be considerate of my children. I understand that everyone in America has a different view and opinion on this war. But here it is in black and white, that is their daddy. He is the fixer of broken toys, he is the best tucker-inner they know, he is the cooker of their breakfast, he is the kisser of boo-boos, he is the daddy. To them, he is not a killer of bad guys. If I ever hear those words said to my children about their daddy, I will go ballistic and rightfully so. So, just don't do it.
Jeff and I decided together a long time ago what we would tell Jack (and Jonah) when deployment came around again. If you ask, Jack will tell you that his daddy is in Afghanistan. If you ask him why, he will say "to help the people." Daddy is there to help, because daddy is a really good helper. That is what he knows, that is what is true, and that is what we, as parents, felt was an appropriate description of deployment for our children. Remember please, and respect that.
Jeff, on the off chance you get to read this before I talk to you again, I wanted to reassure you again how proud I am to be your wife. My hearts swells with love for you. My smiles widens when I think about you. When I close my eyes I can still see and hear your laughing. I will hold on to that until I don't have to pretend anymore. This week will be hard without you, but I will get through because it will bring me one week closer to the end, I love you, don't forget.


  1. This was an amazing post. I got all teary eyed. I miss you already. You are strong. We both are. We can do this. Just hurry home so we can do it together. Im looking forward to our stuffed husbands!

  2. Your advice on how to ask and what to ask needs tone sent out on a poster everywhere. Great advice, great kids, and moon a is sooo happy you are home.