Saturday, May 4, 2013

As He Prepares to Leave

Everyone has their battles. Everyone has things that are difficult to do, even if they are easy for other people. Before it all began, I didn't think I would have a problem. I had even looked forward to the idea, thinking of all the possibilities that would be open to me once these situations arise.

I'm talking about deployment.

In the 6 years that my Jobi has been in the military, he has not seen deployment once. Yes, he's been to BCT/AIT, LDAC, and BOLC, but not an actual deployment. Where it's a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of I-can't-tell-you. Where he won't be able to call me until whenever-the-heck-he-can. Where his mission is to something-I-don't-know, and he's going to who-knows-where. This is his first time, and so this is my first time.

And I'm not ready.

I'm not ready to send our bossy little Almonds off to kindergarten this year without him by my side. I'm not ready to make the day-long grocery and household shopping trips across island with Chip screaming in the back, by myself. I'm not ready to give birth to #4 while he watches via Skype. I'm not ready to pay the bills, register the car, fix the fridge, and kill the giant cockroaches. I'm not ready to spend more sleepless nights with anywhere from one to four kids needing to be held, rocked, bathed, fed, sang to, read to, or anything-else-to-get-them-to-sleep. And I'm certainly not ready to spend the hundredth night in a row sleeping alone.

Almonds and Blondie cried the other night. And when I say cried, I mean wailed. I sang them songs; I read them stories; I spoke kind and loving words for what seemed like days. Then I just sat next to them and cried too. Because I knew why they were inconsolable. And it hurt. Their dad isn't deployed yet, but he hasn't come home since post-mobilization began, and they know something's up. This time, "Army work" is different. And they don't like it. Not any more than I do. Not at all. 

So yeah, of all the things I anticipated about being a military wife, I did not expect to hate deployment so much. I did not expect I would cry every night for a month, even while he's home. I especially didn't expect I would dread doing the mundane, laborious things that my husband usually takes care of. Before marriage, I never had a problem with paperwork, money issues, car stuff, household repairs, or shopping with the kids. (I always hated killing giant bugs though -- let's not get ahead of ourselves.) But now, I am a massive stress case. These things have been swirling around me and I can barely keep my balance. But it's too late -- he's already "gone," and so I'm the man of my house now. If I had a choice, I'd fall asleep and wake up when he comes home. But I have no choice. I take it back -- I made my choice. I chose to marry this man. And now I must make another choice: to be strong, or not to be strong. (Wow, that wasn't cliche at all.)

I know I have help. My siblings are the best, and my children adore their family. My friends are just a phone call away (which I suck at, just to let y'all know). This town has lots of great things me and the kids can be involved in, and I'm kinda excited about that. And I know that if we just keep moving, the time will indeed pass. It's my mantra for the rest of this year: Just Keep Moving. And when me and the girls wanna cry for our "Daddy," we will stop and cry. And then we will get up and keep moving. I can't stop too long or I will stay there, and that's no good for anybody. Especially not my children, who need their mother so badly.

So as he prepares to leave, I prepare to stay. To be present. To be lonely, but never alone. To move, and to keep moving. This is my battle, and I'm scared to death.

But I'm gonna win.

1 comment:

  1. omg!! arrrrgh! :( email me if you ever need anything! i wish we were closer!!


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