October 18, 2008

Day 104

I think we are near the halfway point of this deployment and that feels good. Since we don't have an exact return date it is hard to pinpoint the halfway mark, but it gives me some comfort to think we are getting closer to the end. In honor of being smack in the middle of the deployment, here's a little list of things that have happened so far:

1 set of stitches (Noah got those yesterday from a freak accident with a folding chair)
1 potty trained monkey girl (hooray! no more diapers)
3 bad storms (Gustave, Ike, Fay)

3 new cell phones (dog attack and malfunctioned/cheaply made phones)
5 states since July (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas)
15 family members who now live down the street and give us lots of love and support
100 phone calls from Adam (give or take a few...nearly daily contact)
Too many pieces of dark chocolate to count

I have been reading a book recently which has really made me feel lucky about our current deployment experiences. "Founding Mothers" by Cokie Roberts is a fast (and at times jumpy) read about the women involved in the early days of our country. So many of the passages about the Revolutionary War make me realize how easy my modern experience with war and deployment is versus theirs.....in many cases multiple years of separation, smallpox, little to no communication with their spouses or the larger world, loss of children during childbirth or early illnesses, constant fear and worry about the future, keeping track of not only their children but also running farms and family businesses, all the while fending off or outsmarting British soldiers. Makes my challenges with solo potty training seem so trivial! Don't get me wrong I would much rather not be doing this whole deployment thing, but right now I am feeling very grateful that I didn't have to live through it during Revolutionary times! It kind of reminds me of a yiddish folk tale Noah likes called It Could Always Be Worse....it is all relative and sometimes it is so good to step back and get some perspective on it.

I also have to put a big plug in here for my family. Without my family (including my amazing in-laws), this deployment would be so much more challenging for us. The past twenty four hours are a testament to that. When Noah had his accident yesterday, I was able to pick up the phone and my aunt ran over to help me. She took Camille home with her while I took Noah to the emergency room. While at the hospital I was able to call my mom and she came to spend the night with us. Today another one of my aunts showed up at our house and she helped me with things around the apartment. Since getting married and moving around the globe, I have never had this luxury of being so close to my family and it has really made a big impact on me and the kids. The hardest thing about the end of this deployment will be moving away from family again. I love that my kids are exposed to so many different cultures and global experiences, but it also makes me sad they don't have the same family experiences I had as a child until now. It is so good to see them getting to know their great grandparents and all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins that surround us right now.

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