So here I am, 3 months into deployment #????? - seriously, after 10 years, I've lost count. It's the 2nd foreign duty deployment for us. Back to the sandbox for him, back to single parenting for me. Is it easier this time around? Nope, not really. Things still break, budgets still get stretched, kids still get sick. I know what to expect this time - but that is both a blessing&a curse.
I know that our 1st paycheck after he gets in-country (translation: overseas) will be very late. Contrary to popular belief, Army pay IS NOT as reliable as US mail LOL. That was a surprise last time. Not nice. I know that dates, locations, missions are all subject to change, and it's always best to have a plan B - and a plan C, plan D, ...... Last time, I was so hung up on the exact date of his return, I had the days counted down the minute he left. That date changed 4 times before he came home. There went the Welcome Home party plans!
However, he's supposed to have a "safe" mission this time. Supposed to. That thing about missions changing applies to this. So I hope he doesn't send an email w/a FRAGO (fragmented order, meaning a change to the original plan.) Missions go from safe to dangerous in the blink of an eye, or the loss of a unit - depending on how you look at it. I know that it's still dangerous over there. I know he still might not come home.
Our kids are older this time. Our son is old enough to realize Daddy is going somewhere he might get hurt, or worse. Our daughter is almost old enough to date. I cannot hold a shotgun, or intimidate a high school sophmore w/a driver's liscense&big plans in his head. I can, however, tell the teenager to babysit the 8-year-old when I need a Girls' Night Out LOL.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm enough: enough of a wife, that I can keep our marriage together after so much coming & going; enough of a mother, that I can raise our children without alienating them; enough of a human being that I still notice those around me, and recognize their struggles, even when I'm most frustrated. Is a clean floor really that important? Will my in-laws be irreparably hurt if I don't show up every Sunday for a visit? What will I do if something breaks around my house?
I love my military man - and I'd choose him every day of the week, twice on Sundays. He is worth everything to me. No one makes me laugh the way he does.
Tonight, I am tired. It's been another long day of work, errands, dinner, kids, laundry. Tomorrow will be more of the same. I keep putting one foot in front of the other. 3 months down, 9 months to go, give or take a few. Days. Weeks. Months? I hope not.
To all my Sister & Brother Spouses out there, keep on keeping on.