Archives for posts with tag: deployment

Little Brooks has been having such a hard time with his Daddy being gone. He’s pretty quiet about his sadness; sometimes you’ll see it in his face, sometimes in the offhand way he mentions how things would have been different with Daddy around, but mostly he’ll ask for extra cuddles and hugs. There are times when his sadness is evident in the tears he sheds, and those displays are the hardest to bear, for me at least.

I know not being on a schedule isn’t helping things. I’ve felt the effects of it, but so has Little B.

I was extremely excited when Brooks got BB a cute little pink pig. As a side note, pink happens to be one of The Boy’s favorite colors. The plan was to place the pig next to a slumbering Brooksy so that when he woke up he’d awaken with his new stuffed friend laying next to him.

But then I suffered insomnia and as a result slept in. And completely forgot.

This kind of reminds me of the time the Tooth Fairy kept forgetting to come each night. For three nights. Each night The Boy went to sleep a little earlier hoping that she had just skipped him because when she was in the area he was still awake. And then each morning disappointment. Not one of my finest parenting moments, indeed.

I swear, I’m really a morning person.

But I digress.

My friend Dalia joined us again to help with some more yard work. She’s wonderful, which is pretty needless to say, but she is. She also brought us breakfast. And the makings for an amazing pork chop/ asparagus / potato lunch. While she was here I finally remembered the pink pig!

Little Brooks was so excited! He been carrying around Penny the Pig all day (she’s currently napping in her box). He’s been hugging her and talking to her, and BB even mentioned he invented a magazine just for her (but he knew writing it would take too long so he’s currently composing articles in his head, though I wonder what they would be about).  So score for a thoughtful Daddy, and bigger score for a happy little boy, who at least for the moment, is at peace with this deployment.

Dalia spent the whole morning with us and after she left I propped my foot up and took it easy for a bit as my foot was extremely sore and swollen. Afterwards The Boy and I worked on a art project/activity/toy.

I saw a link for a paper garland wand on Facebook and knew for sure Little Brooks would love this project. Not only would he be able to draw, one of his favorite things, but he would also get to sew, which he loves, and he would end up with a new toy.

Here is the link: http://kvbarn.blogspot.com/2011/03/paper-garland-wand.html

The premise of the project is to take small rectangles of paper (colored paper would be best, but we currently have no colored copier paper) sew them into a streamer, and then attach the whole thing to a stick, pencil, chopstick, etc. As soon as Little B saw the sewing machine his eyes got huge. He loves sewing and I love this project because it’s so simple and I knew he could work on this independantly.

Brooks drew designs on the slips of paper (I helped on some, as he was more keen on sewing today). He fed the paper pieces through the sewing machine, aiming for the middle of each slip of paper. I told Brooks not to worry so much about hitting the middle as I knew as long as it wasn’t completely off to the sides that the thing would work.

After he finished sewing all the pieces we attached the streamer to a chopstick, and voila, he ended up with a self made paper streamer.

For sure an easy project and too much fun!

 

 

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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.

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.