I was feeling a bit blue this morning. I think having The Boy gone on his sleepover coupled with the incredible silence in the house really got to me. It made me miss my better half in such a raw way. I don’t usually let myself sit and really think of all it means for him to be gone. It’s just too much at times, so I’d rather not visit that too often.

How do you fill the void left by his abscence?

I miss the sound of his boots tramping through our house. The echo of them still ring in my ears, and the emotions of joy tied to those memories, sweet “home comings” at the end of day, can bring me to tears. I miss the sight of him in his recliner after work, the half smile he gives me as I talk too fast and too much, all at once, about all we’ve done those few hours he’s been away. Those little memories are the ones that instantly surface to my mind’s eye when I hear him utter simply, “I miss you” from hundreds of miles away. And when I actually allow myself to feel the weight of his absence it’s enough to bring me to my knees in grief. Grief for all that he misses and all that we miss him, for the little moments shared via video or the phone, quickly hand written letters, the voice of a child sharing with pride all that he’s done, and how well he’s doing, despite the feelings of loss. It’s a sense of loss for all that would have been day in and day out if duty didn’t call. None of our sadness takes away from how incredibly proud of him we are. It accentuates it. No matter how busy you stay, how resolved you may be to stay strong, to bear the weight of deployment and all it brings, tears will eventually be shed. And mine surely fell hard this morning.

Thankfully by the time Little Brooks got home from his sleepover I had pulled myself together. I headed to the Resiliency Campus on post with The Boy and his buddy Joey to check out the rock climbing wall. I’ve been wanting to take Little Brooks for a while now and today seemed like the perfect day for it since we had some time open before his basketball game.

The boys were super excited to check out the boulder adjacent to the wall. It was a squarish piece of looking rock short enough that it screamed fun as opposed to scary. The wall itself was another story. It was much larger than I had anticipated. I was expecting to see something similar to those traveling rock walls… you know the deal… a long wall large enough for one person to climb on each side. This wall was pretty impressive and I was a bit worried the boys would be intimidated. Thankfully they both tried their hands at it, after they grew tired of the boulder, that is. Little Brooks didn’t get far at all at first. Later he watched a little girl try her hand at it and decided he’d try again. This time he was able to reach the top, since he better understood where to place his feet and hands. He was so proud of himself, for not giving up. I was pretty proud too, because I know him well enough that I know it took a bit of courage to get him to reach that top.

It was a blast, and I don’t think the kids wanted to leave.

After the rock climbing we headed to his basketball game. BB had fun and was able to see the fruits of his hard work and extra practice.

I was hoping to go on a nice hike today followed by a picnic, but when Brooks called this morning he didn’t feel comfortable with me hiking alone with the boy. The last thing I want to do is make him fret about our safety so I assured him we’d refrain from it, as much as it pained me to miss out on a good hike. So we came home and played board games, as well as Wii Fit. We read some books and Brooksy made us smoothies. And we made some art.

I had read about printing with bubble wrap on The Artful Parent a while ago and knew Brooks would love it. I figured we’d take care of two birds with one stone. He could have fun making prints and we could recycle paper from Hobby Lobby to reuse as care package wrapping. When I told Brooks we’d use his prints to make some of his Daddy’s care packages pretty he was so excited. He settled on three colors and got to painting, after some silly play with bubble wrap of course.

He pinched it, jumped on it, rode his scooter over it, and tried to squish it under his armpits. That made him laugh uproariously. Boys and potty humor! I don’t get it! It was rather funny though! I’m seriously considered wrapping up a roll of bubble wrap for him for Christmas next year. You would have thought it was his birthday, he was grinning ear to ear just at the thought of playing with the stuff.

 

Oh, what a day! It’s days like this I feel like an emotional roller coaster, from sadness to happiness and back again. Little Brooks and I have had such a full, fun day.  Tomorrow will be a much happier day overall. I’ve decided it’s so.

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