Three Weeks

June 16, 2008

Adam will be leaving for Kuwait in three weeks. Suddenly it is all starting to feel very real. So many things to do. So many things to figure out. So many check lists. So much packing and organizing. And yet all we want to do is just play with the kids in the back yard. It looks like the kids and I will spend most of the time in Louisiana with my family. Makes me happy to think about being close to my family, but also brings with it extra work and preparation (figuring out schools, packing for six months, taking care of house details, etc).

And besides all of the physical tasks facing us, the hardest is the emotional stuff. We have started talking about it with Noah. Started reading related books (I'll try to review/rate them in another post). And even got a free video from Sesame Street about military families and deployment (I'd never seen Elmo's parents before seeing this video...who knew they were a military family?). Not quite sure of how to prepare Camille. She is already very focused on the issue of loss...her "lost house" during our recent travels and her little voice telling us "I lost my grandpa" or when Adam went to work yesterday "I lost my dada" and today when I was out running errands "I lost my mama". Not easy to explain deployment to a two year old.

Heck, it's not easy explaining it to this 35 year old. In my head, I know that this is part of his job. I knew that this was coming. But my heart responds in a different way and especially with all that has happened recently. I can relate to Camille's comments. I never thought I would "lose" my daddy and my husband at the same time. The two most important men in my life. That sounds so melodramatic but recently it feels like our lives have been turned into some crazy made-for-tv drama. I know we will all make it through this challenging time, but right now it feels pretty overwhelming. I just keep reminding myself to breathe. But when I realized today that we only had three weeks it took my breath away. Three weeks.
Michelle said...

Oh Gosh. I cannot imagine how hard that is, especially so soon after the loss of your Father. I'll be thinking of you and your family and thanking God every day for men(and women) like you husband serving our country. Thank you.

Michelle said...

Of course I meant "your" husband. Darn typos.

Corinne said...

Those countdown days are so hard. I remember my sister trying to prepare her then 3 year old daughter for her husband's 15 month deployment (I remember something about a Sesame Street video...). It was so much to think about and worry about logistically, let alone emotionally. I'm glad you'll be in a homey, familiar place at least :)

Shanea said...

I'm so sorry, so soon, so overwhelming.... If at all able, try to get home video of Adam reading to the kids, playing in the back yard, cuddling, being funny etc. in the next weeks. The kids love to watch it over and over. I always wished I'd had more of that for mine. Marshal actually sent a video of himself reading Corduroy to them while deployed. When Marshal called - speakerphone was helpful. It was often in the evening for us, tucking the kids into bed, recaps of the day, goodnights. I gave Gabe a globe and we traced a path from us to Daddy regularly. Airplanes and oceans help conceptualize where Daddy is, and he is not lost.
Camille is at such a delicate age. No age is a good age. I'm feeling for you.
Glad you are going to be with family! I stayed close to mine too. The extended family are a great emotional support for the children as well as you.

lisa said...

I feel for you!! My husband has been gone for 2 months now and the buildup and first few weeks are definitely the most difficult. I wish I had the luxury of being closer to family. Once you get settled and get into a routine it will get easier-- its just hard to think of that right now Im sure!!

For Nathan (who turns 3 next month) having a map has been huge-- that way he can "see" where Dad is. Also sending pictures back and forth has been helpful. Nathan will even go sit at my laptop, start punching buttons and tell me "Im checking my email from dad." :)

You've definitely had a difficult few months, hang in there....military spouses are the toughest!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Thanks for the encouraging words and great advice. I am in awe of families that have dealt with back-to-back deployments which sadly seem to be the norm these days. We keep meaning to start doing more videotaping so that was a good reminder!

Heather said...

I don't know what to say to these last two posts, but I want to say something, even if it's only "I'm thinking of you." And even though I pretty much only know you through your blog and the Nook, it seems to me you and your husband are raising a couple of resilient and resourceful children who are better prepared than many to deal with this separation. But still. I'm sending prayers your way and am grateful for your sacrifice.

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