We are down to a few days left with my husband Greg. He is deploying for 6+ months while the kids and I are traveling. You might think that preparing for a deployment is solemn and depressing and I’m sure it can be and believe me it has had it’s moments, but a lot of the preparation for this deployment has come with some joy. We are doing our final “things” as a family of 5 for right now. We celebrated new year’s at great wolf lodge. We have attended winter birthday parties as a family, enjoyed neighbors and tackled ‘honey do’ lists, but there is also a plethora of things happening here that you wouldn’t naturally think of. For one, a deployment binder has been created and meticulously added to over the course of the last month.
Tomorrow I will do a short live video covering some of the items that we have chosen to include in our deployment binder. AND I will give you the free link to download your own template if you should ever need it. This life that we live is stunning and awe-inspiring in so many ways. There are many sorrows and silver linings to Greg’s deployment. I get the “oh you poor poor thing” comment quite regularly, or the “I’m so sorry” as if he is dying. The kids and I are ok, I’m more worried about Greg actually. The bigger boys will miss him, there’s no doubt about that, but they have been away from him for the better part of the last six months and in that time we have had plenty of conversations about this ship on the horizon. I, though love the adult conversation and companionship of my husband, am looking forward to nights of good books, new friendships, cultivating old friendships, visitors, getting to know my grandmother as an adult, raising our children on the edge of the world knowing I have Greg’s blessing and that this is what he wants for them too.
I would have never guessed 7 years ago when Greg proposed that here I would be all domesticated (insert chuckles), raising three boys, homeschooling and married to a Marine pilot preparing for deployment. I would have told you then that there was no way, why would I deliberately put myself through that? There’s no way I could handle that. But now? I’m not even nervous. I have a general idea of what to expect and even lower expectations in regards to communication, agendas, timelines. I have never been more emotionally flexible in my life and I’m not afraid. I’m hopeful that Greg will enjoy himself where he can, we will try to rendezvous where we can and the kids and I will be our usual busy selves, but this time we won’t be staring at his empty chair at the dinner table.
Last week, Luxor asked me “mom do you think things will be different when we get back from our big trip?” I responded with a simple, yes sweetheart, very different. I can’t help but wonder how the boys will be different, not size wise by height and weight, but the size of their spirit, their zest to know more about the world around them, their level of responsibility, their awareness. . .will they struggle horribly to re-assimilate back into American culture like I have for the last 10 years? For their sake, I hope not, but lucky for them this trip to Mexico and then abroad for 5+ months is just the beginning.
Greg and I, July 2011, 4 months after engagement and 3 months to wedding day. The beginning looked pretty good 😉