A lack of communication doesn't make things any easier when you're across the country from the one who has your heart. When you've committed your life to another person and can't be with them, it leaves you feeling empty in a way that can't be fulfilled by anything or anyone. Having been deployed myself, I have an idea of what it's like for him while he's in Afghanistan, and picturing him there drives my motivation, but I often wonder what to do with myself, how to make the best use of my time, and often imagining him here in the places where he belongs at home.
Alyx and Kate have fallen into the usual regression of not having their dad home. At first I was slightly annoyed with their behavior changes, until today it clicked that they're lashing out because of his absence. Alyx is all over the place, trying to be strong, the man of the house, and take care of things far beyond his years. Kate gets even closer to me, cuddling a lot, being afraid to be alone (not really alone, but with out ample attention). It puts me in a better place to handle the situation of their behavior changes when I can place the source of it all. I'm not one to ask for help or leave the kids for any amount of absolutely unnecessary time, but I realize that for their sake and my own sanity, it's actually good for them to spend time with family - to know that there are other people who love them and involved in their lives.
Ever find yourself drawn to things that you usually love when they make you sad when you're loved one is away? Me too! My guilty pleasure is chick flicks - love story, worldly story lines, beautiful characters, the whole nine yards! Then I find a mild bitterness that I can't lay my head upon his lap and kiss him sweetly, that my children and I feel his absence so strongly when all we want is for him to be here with us. It is there that we find a strength we don't really want, but build upon day by day until the countdown is over and we're driving to the airport once more!
When we are out and about, Kate prefers to walk more and more now, holding hands of course. If we're on a sidewalk and near grass, she will lead us to the grass and walk in it. No matter how many times I put her on the sidewalk, she always wants to be back in the grass. She has also been moving her hair away from her face more often now, even though it gets more in her face :).
Alyx is on the countdown for summer! He has three days left; consisting of a beach walk day to Sunnyside tomorrow, a field day on Thursday, and a half day on Friday! I'm going to make a big deal out of his "graduating" this year by picking him up Friday with balloons, my camera in hand, and a cake just for him! He only graduates first grade once, right?! :)
So that leaves me to thinking about summer... Naturally I want to go to some far off, beautiful place (California!!!!), visit my family, or to the ocean (here) all the time, trips to Oregon, lots of hiking. Then I realize that some of those things are somewhat unrealistic and that keeping somewhat of a routine will benefit the kiddos far greater than any trip, not to completely leave the adventure, but to be more realistic in my dreams. I've never had every day with the kids by myself and anything we want to do. I keep wondering what we would do if Jeremy was here - last summer we went on a road trip to Florida, that was abruptly ended by his first deployment with this company. Everything we do now leaves me with a strong desire to share it with Jeremy, and I often find myself not wanting to do anything because I can't. I push myself out the door and to just drive to see where I end up, all the while thinking about him and hoping that he knows that every second I was there thinking of him, loving him.
I look forward to sending out his first care package and letters... lots and lots of letters. I pray he finds a comfortable place to settle into with out worry and can focus on getting his job done and returning home to us. -We love you Jeremy. Words can hardly explain how much we miss you and think of you every day. Our love will stand the test of the times we're in and keep me (us) moving forward to another day down and closer to one another. I can't wait for our next adventure and a whole new beginning when you return. We're living our dream and we're living it to the fullest, no matter where we are or what challenges we're facing. Muah!