Today was our last day with Brenda, and after a slow morning start (the best one’s in my opinion, especially when one is on vacation) we headed out to explore some areas close to the River Walk.

For sure, the more I explore San Antonio the more I fall in love with it, and Texas in general. We’ve been here so long the place is really growing on me!

The first place we checked out was La Villita, a small cluster of old home and brick lined streets across the street from Hemisfair Park, which is near the River Walk. I had heard about La Villita but if Brenda hadn’t put it on our list of stuff to do today I would never have gone. It was a real treat to walk through the little neighborhood checking out different shops and window shopping.

Little Brooks had a pure moment of sadness today at missing his Daddy. He’s also been super sad that Brenda left – poor kiddo cried on the way home. He also cried as we were making our way to the shops and it broke my heart. It’s one thing to deal with my own sadness. I can kinda push that away into the deepest recesses of my conscious, all for the sake of staying functional and grounded. But it’s a whole other matter to hear my boy racked by sobs, knowing full  well that regardless of what I say or do it’s really not going to make it better. Daddy is still really, really far away and nothing’s going to bring him home any sooner.

We’ve gone through this the last two deployments. Now that Brooks is older and can vocalize well how he’s feeling it’s always hit him hard around the one month mark. I think for us, it’s normal for Daddy to be gone for stretches of a time, but after a month it feels like, okay… enough already. The whole longevity of a year lived apart really hits us and we begin to miss Brooks in a raw, overwhelming way.

This is obviously not to say we weren’t missing him before, but before it was a reaction to the apparent absence. Now, a month into, and beyond, it’s still a sadness related to his absence, coupled with the reality of how long we’ll have to make it through before we’ll all be together again.

I am so grateful for Skype and Magic Jack. They’ve been a true life saver this deployment. When I couldn’t make my baby boy feel better we called Brooks so he could soothe his boy. This won’t be the last time Little Brooks is reduced to tears over missing his Dad. Each time I’ll shed my own tears: for what The Boy is going through, for the ache he feels inside, and for the pure helplessness of knowing I can’t fix it for him.

Thankfully after D.Brooks talked to The Boy and made him feel better we made our way through La Villita before heading into Hemisfair Park. They were setting up for Luminaria and we were all quite sad we were going to miss the festival and all the lights. After a quick stop at the playground we headed to the Tower of the America’s for lunch.

The Tower is one of those things you want to do, because it’s fun and interesting, and you kind of want to know you’ve done it. But I suffer from motion sickness and the elevator ride alone had my stomach in knots. And then we get to the top, and I had forgotten that the darn thing moves. It’s constantly revolving, slowly, sure, but nonetheless moving. 

Needless to say, I’m glad we went. I’m glad we got to enjoy the amazing view from up top. I’m glad the food was beyond delicious. And I’m glad I didn’t throw up. But I’m never doing that again. Little Brooks wants to return with Big Brooks. I think that’s wonderful. I’ll bring a good book and wait for them at the bottom. Too easy!

After the ground stopped moving we made our way back to La Villita where we stumbled upon a free art workshop titled SMART Art:

They had live music, artists creating pieces, and booths and tables set up that those present could learn and create art. We had a great time and I’m hoping that next year it coincides with Luminaria again so that the three of us can go and do some more workshops. Little Brooks was able to create a silk screen tee to take home. Brenda had to make one too 🙂

After that we made our way to the car so that we could drop Brenda off at the airport. I hate goodbyes. I prefer see you later’s and it’s comforting to know before we say those three little words, to know exactly around when we’ll see each other again.