Tuesday, May 28, 2013


It looks as though I haven't written a post since January but that isn't technically true. I've written a lot  and published none. I think it's because once I start getting into the emotional aspect of living without Andrew while he has been deployed I get a little exhausted and punch out early.

I think I'm at a place right now that I can talk about what it's been like without getting to bent out of shape.

Andrew and I discussed him doing a deployment voluntarily before he was given the opportunity to go. We both agreed that it was a great idea and especially at the age Henry is now. It was obvious that we would be in for a new experience and that some of our preconceived ideas of how everything would go would probably be smashed but we were up for the task.

We are now more than half way though the deployment and a lot has been learned by the both of us well as Henry.

Henry has had a really tough time but when he was in school for a few months he was much happier. He thrives in a social environment and loves learning. Continuing to learn lessons at home and practicing what he learned this year in school has been important as well as having play dates with his friends and taking him to the local park to meet new kids.

This year for his birthday I knew that without Andrew I would be overwhelmed throwing a party like I did last year, even with being in the house this year. So instead I invited a few of my friends over with their kids and had a play date masked as a birthday party and it turned out great. He definitely didn't notice the difference.

I think the most important thing I've learned since Andrew has been gone is that I do need him. I've always been of this mind frame that I WANT a husband but that I didn't necessarily NEED a husband. Maybe in attempt to feel secure that should anything ever happen I could easily take care of myself. But that is simply not true. I want Andrew and I need him. He is my best friend, the key to my sanity, to a good portion of the work that gets done around the house and as the other parent he is equally important. This deployment has definitely given me a new sense of humility and appreciation for everything Andrew does for us.

Last night he asked me how I was doing. The simple answer to that is GOOD. But that cliche phrase you hear in movies, "I have to be strong for him (Henry)." came out of my mouth and I cringed a little at the cheesiness of it but it couldn't be more true. My emotions about the difficulty of living without Andrew for the last 6+ months have been shut off for the reason that if I thought about it I would be a completely useless mess since I'm prone to depression. The only person that is allowed any real access to emotion during this time is Henry. It's not to say there haven't been bad days. There really has. But for the most part It's been GOOD and we discuss how difficult it is for him and how happy our reunion with Daddy will be. We talk about what we will do and we talk about how it's ok to cry and be sad that he's not with us right now. We have had busy days of errands and school and parks and festival and picnics, etc., and we've had epicly lazy days with nothing but cereal and cartoons. Some days we cope better than others. Some days the house is a mess but most days it's cleaner than it ever was when Andrew was here. Some days we act more like lumps than humans. Some days we do nothing but sit on the porch swing and talk about the things we want to do and occasionally get up to study a bug or lizard.

Mostly I've learned to just chill out. Try to keep busy, keep Henry entertained, but when I feel tired and worn out, to just put everything down and put on a movie, journal, make sure Henry is fed and has something fun to do and accept that this is all temporary. I figured out that when I was trying to do it all perfectly that the depression started creeping up on me. I was asking too much of myself, being too hard on myself and Henry wasn't enjoying it. I would rather be laid back than neurotic and depressed and I know Henry prefers me laid back too. Watching your 3 year old worry and ask if you are ok is one of the saddest things to ever hear. I had to abandon that pressure to be a Super Mom in order to be a good one. But the one thing we do make sure to do is at the end of the day we read and talk in bed and hold hands. It's our favorite time of the day together and it's when I realize, over and over, just how brave and strong he is for such a little guy.

Even though Andrew is desperately home sick he is at least enjoying his job. He loves it and it makes up for the horrible food and less than great sleeping conditions. Everyday I feel proud of him and the sacrifice he has made to take care of us and do something amazing for his country.

We have been blessed with neighbors who are retired military and have helped take care of the lawn this last week.  Something I was too prideful to admit I needed help with so they took care of it without me having to ask. Again, I've been learning my limitations and that 24 hours in a day is not enough time to do it all. Especially since Henry has been out of school.

I think the one emotion I have been feeling in abundance since Andrew's been gone is gratitude. I'm grateful for a hard working, dedicated and brave husband. I'm grateful for a sweet and sensitive, funny and brilliant son who keeps my spirit happy. I'm grateful for my friends here that have helped take Henry when I need a break, (Liz and Spencer! <3) and for my home and the beautiful nature around it that keeps me in child like wonder most days.  I'm grateful for the abundance of letters and care packages we've received from family and friends and the Air Force key spouses and Andrew's supervisor that call and check up on us. I knew when we were called to come to Georgia that we would build a happy life here and we definitely have.