As I sit with my Google Reader list this morning, I came across this super inspirational post by the one and only Stephanie Howell. Stephanie is a great inspiration to me- she blogs openly and poignantly about her life as a military spouse- I relate fully to almost everything she shares. She's very honest about it all, tries to laugh at the little things, and more than anything she inspires me to try to do the same.
So- she's speaks very openly today about the reintegration process and it really hit home. I remember it all so clearly from last time. The anxiety, the stress, the difficulty in adjusting to having that person home again, but also the relief that comes with it. She inspired me to share some thoughts about my own adventures in deployment.... it's all very fresh, you see, he left last weekend.
I try to be more private about how I'm feeling during deployments. I never want anyone to feel sorry for us, feel like they have to DO something to help, look at me with those sad eyes that remind me over and over again that he's in a dangerous place. I do everything possible to ensure that the deployment does not affect our everyday routine, that we don't use it as an excuse or expect special treatment. I work hard. I do more. I GO.
I think it's good for the kids that I keep moving- it makes them stronger- they don't mope, they don't miss school, they don't get special treatment. The rules stay the same, they go to bed the same time, they eat the same food. But they definitely get an extra snuggle here and there, they learn to treasure the moment as we live it, they learn to be memory recorders- always ready to share what they did that day with Daddy. Aden always has a camera in his hands. PRICELESS.
The hardest part of every day is bedtime. It's when your mind shuts down for the day and all you can think about is him. Aden's five this time around and he's experiencing this big time. He's doing great at school, he's playing nice with his brother, we're keeping very busy.... and then bedtime comes. And he gets sad. And it breaks my heart.
I'm so thankful for Austin who is three and finds joy in everything and is such a little clown. He makes me laugh EVERY SINGLE DAY and I need it. He keeps it light, he doesn't seem to get it yet, and I'm hoping that lasts awhile. I know he misses Daddy, but it's not taking over yet.
And in the end, while I go on and on blubbering about how it is affecting US, I have to think about how it affects HIM. Because when he calls from Afghanistan and has a couple minutes to talk, he doesn't want to hear how stressed out I am. He wants to hear the happy. And I'm going to try harder this time around to provide him with plenty of happy because, frankly, he's sleeping in a room with seven other dudes. He's working his butt off. He's away from ALL of us. He's sad, too.
Stephanie extended a challenge to her blog readers to blog their hearts today- I took the challenge and it really does feel GOOD. I think I'll have a good day starting it off this way so thank you so much for that, Stephanie! I extend the challenge out to all of you, too! If you "blog your heart" today, please link it up in the comments so I can come by for a visit! And thank you for all your support and kind words over the past couple of days. I am nothing shy of AMAZED by the love I have received from my crafty friends- you guys are the BEST.......