Oh, Sunday!

I’m one of those “cup half full” kinda gals. I just refuse to see the negative in situations, and can ignore the bad for a good while – partly because that stuff stresses me out and gives me migraines and then I’m bed ridden and also, and most importantly, because I really feel like our attitudes are a huge guiding force in our lives.

I could be bitter and angry about being on our fifth deployment. But the key point here is that I CHOOSE not to be, so I’m not. I choose to embrace this experience, because doing otherwise would greatly color the following year in such a negative way, that our day in and outs would be miserable and sad and LONG. Long doesn’t bode well with me when we’re looking at spending a year apart from someone I truly consider the heart of this family.

When I was sixteen years old, and licensed to drive a motor vehicle (I’m not quite sure why the state of Washington would do such a thing) my family moved to Pennsylvania, which meant a cross country road trip. My sister and I drove one car, and I remember a lot about that trip. For one, we laughed quite a bit, and sang songs mostly out of key (I might be speaking more for myself in that instance), and made some pretty neat memories. But the thing I remember most is what my sister said to me one day while on that trip. She said, “You make any place what it is, it all depends on what you put into it and how you choose to see it.”

I love that, and it’s repeatedly shown itself to be true in my life. We can all be unhappy with our lot in life, the size of our homes or bank accounts, our families, or careers, whatever it may be, or we can embrace all God’s given us and be joyful, wholly expecting good things. And when the bad comes, and it will, why not stand up courageously and face things head on? I’ve always told Little Brooks that courage is not the absence of fear,  but doing something or facing something despite our fears. That’s courage in my book.

So, this Sunday, as cheerful as I faced the day, there were moments when true sadness bubbled up. Sadness for all that Brooks misses when he’s on the other side of the planet, sadness for my child’s pain at missing the Super Bowl curled up in his Daddy’s lap, and sadness for finding myself parenting a little boy alone, again.

That last particular is for me a true sore point. I have to say, I’m not quite sure how single parents do it, especially those with more than one child. Although my spouse is absent, he’s still part of the picture, emotionally and financially supporting us. So I’m not entirely alone, unless you count the distance, and then the definition is still valid in my book.

We’ve been so busy I haven’t had that “Oh,” moment yet. That moment I realize, again, that it’s just me parenting for a while. I remember one moment last deployment when I was having a hard time with Little Brooks being obedient. Brooks calls on the phone and I gush out all rushed, and indignant, “You need to talk to That Boy.” I was a bit peeved when Brooks answered calmly, and softly, that he sure could but that it wouldn’t solve the problem that Brooks wasn’t being obeying Me.

Have I mentioned that my husband has this annoying habit of ALWAYS being right. It’s annoying. And cute. All at the same time.

He was right though. What was I going to do? Shake my finger at The Boy every time he didn’t obey and admonish him with, “”Wait till your Daddy comes home!” or more realistically, “Wait till your Daddy gets on the computer!”

Today, I had that “Oh,” moment.

After I picked Little B up from his best friends we came home and he talked my ear off about his day with Jason. I love, love, love that Little B gives so many details about his time away from me, because I hate missing out on every moment of what he’s doing. I think he gets his gift of gab from me. I’m just saying.

Afterwards he worked on a get well card for Brooks’ cousin and his wife who were injured while in South America. He’s been so worried for them and wanted to make them feel better. We then went out to practice his bball skills. I barely took PE in school due to my heart condition, let alone played a sport. I know very little about the sport of basketball so I was feeling apprehensive about Brooks leaving and me being the sole responsible party for his training. YouTube comes in handy here, I must confess. I swear they must have instructional videos on everything!

There is where my “Oh,” moment came in. Because you see, in four deployments I have learned that a momma is all I know how to be. I can’t teach that boy basketball because I’m not familiar with it, not that I couldn’t be, but I just can’t. And I can’t teach him how to be a man, because, well, I’m not a man. It dawned on me I was alone again with him and the sole parent in charge and it’s hard to face that sometimes. And it made me sad, because I know how fully and entirely that child misses his father, and most importantly, needs him. I see it in his face when he looks longingly at other kids with their dads, or when he asks me a question only a guy could answer, because I have no clue. And I can’t fill that void, as much I’d love to.

I sometimes wonder how the boy he’s become would differ from the boy he could have been had his Daddy been here all along. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re both scared of the dark, as well as bugs, and that he’s overly cautious, somewhat OCDish, gabs away all day, and that the inflections in his speech are pretty darn similar to mine. But all that wondering is for naught, because we are of the opinion that although he isn’t perfect, we’re all fallible, that he’s a pretty darn neat kid and we couldn’t imagine him any other way.

Which brings me to my earlier points. About me being a “cup half full” kinda gal? And our attitudes dictating the outcomes in our lives? Although this situation isn’t ideal, I’m going to face it head on, being the best momma I can be, with my better half serving our country far away. I’m going to research a bazillion YouTube videos about bball so that I can help coach Brooks where his Dad would have done so. I’m going to be firm and expect obedience, without that other person being in the house with the intimidating deep voice. I’m going to refer all “boy” questions to his Daddy and hope the Skype holds out so I don’t have to explain things I have no clue about. And if that fails, there’s always Pop Pop 🙂 As weird as some may think me for saying this, life is good, and I’m so thankful for today.