Having several deployments under our belt I can say with certainty that no deployment is like any other. For me, the biggest difference is the amount and quality of communication available to us. For example, Brooks’s second deployment, if my memory serves me well, we found ourselves communicating frequently. I’m not quite sure what his job entailed, since I don’t get many details in that regard, but we were on the phone more often than not.

Sometimes, the communication is poor because reception is poor. This deployment we have been pretty blessed in that Brooks has fairly decent reception and as a result he’s been able to hook up a Magic Jack, so we can call him and vice versa.

I love that. I’m just saying.

Now that we have fallen into a pretty predictable schedule, sans Daddy, Little Brooks and I find ourselves continually reminiscing about life between deployments, as in the moments when he’s home. It’s pretty fair to say that The Boy and I adore the biggest Brooks. We look forward to him coming home from work, to playing with him, spending time with him.. you get the picture.

When he’s gone, and this is going to sound entirely cliche-ish, it’s like the sun is hiding behind some crazy clouds because everything is just diminished in scope without him here. We really and truly miss Brooks in everything we do.

And yet, life goes on, and we wake up each morning ready to face the day, to play hard and laugh often, to learn, and even to create memories apart from each other. Little Brooks and I are rarely not full to brimming with joy. And yet, beneath all that joy and merriment and laughter, there’s always a part of us that misses Brooks.

More often than not these last few days, The Boy has woken up and instead of greeting me or asking what’s in store for the day, he tells me that he misses his Daddy and then asks for a hug. And milk. Always milk. But that’s another story.

And so we wait for those phone calls to come through. The ring tone that informs us that our loved one is just a button press away. The phone calls that, if I close my eyes and will myself hard enough to imagine, I can pretend he’s just a few streets away at work. The phone calls that somehow make everything better and infuse us with joy and happiness and giggles.

I swear, sometimes it feels like I’m holding my breath between those calls. As if life is somehow on hold between them, which sounds silly because we stay so busy, but it does feel that way. Somehow it just does.

Today was just like any other day. I’d been missing Brooks like crazy and so had Little Brooks. And when we heard the phone ringing we both raced to answer it first, except that The Boy beat me to it. He’s getting fast. The Boy hurried to tell him all his news and I hung around the edges, cleaning the counters over and over again, impatiently waiting for my turn.

And after I’d finally clicked the button that would sever our phone call and silence his laughter and his voice until the next one, I looked at my boy and saw pure happiness, all was well again, even with the missing being so raw and real and always under the surface. The permagrin on my face surely reflected his.

And I love, love, love that over brunch The Boy shared that his Daddy’s voice warms his soul. I get that.

So our day was looking perfect after such a great start.

We did manage to get in some homeschooling, as limited as it is these days, as well as an art project, some bike riding before the weather turned sour, and board games.

I was feeling tired all day. And when I’m tired I just go with it. I turn down the pace and we have what I like to call an Easy Day. Easy Days consist of slow paced housework ( for those of you who know me, know that housework is a must around here, I cannot forgo the cleaning and all that it entails), cuddling on the couch with books, cooking yummy food that isn’t fussy (we had crepes for brunch and chicken salad and spicey sweet potato wedges for linner… linner being the meal between lunch and dinner…), playing board games, and doing easy peasy art projects. I would have thrown in a nap except I felt completely convinced that if I went that route I wouldn’t be able to wake up. I love Easy Days.

As a side note, our art project today was ridiculously easy and too much fun. Here is the link: http://unplugyourkids.com/2009/02/02/marbelized-paper/ We created marbalized paper with cardstock, oil, water, and food coloring. It was addicting and fun, and if I know Brooks he’ll ask to do this one again tomorrow. I figured it would be a great way to make thank you cards for his birthday gifts. Two birds, one stone. Love it.

Little Brooks, when he’s been told it’s an Easy Day, tries hard to convince me that really what I need is a Bed Day, as in stay-in-bed-all-day-while-I-do-as-I-please day. Those Bed Days are virtual No Rule Days for him, other than the fact that he’s got to keep the house clean and tend to his chores, and some of mine.

So we had a nice day of taking it easy, which I can completely appreciate after a hectic semester.

To top off our day, at the last minute we were able to score tickets to VLA’s production of Cinderella. Little B and I are huge theater fans. As soon as the house lights go down and that first scene unfolds my heart begins to pound and I’m glued to the edge of my seat. We have yet to be disappointed in a VLA production, and tonight’s musical was no exception. Both kiddos really enjoyed the show and neither of them fell asleep even with the play running pretty late.

So, I’ll head to bed here in a bit and continue to hold my breath until the next time I hear from my beau.