D Day Eve
10am: Just received a phone call from my husband. The time has been pushed up to 11am instead of 3:30pm. We have from 8am til 11am to be at the reception together. I had a good groove going with laundry and packing while Chandler and Cole were over at the Company getting things ready for tomorrow. That phone call kinda shot my groove down. Now, I’m just sitting on a crinkly space saver bag, surrounded by a self-made mote of folded clothes. The piles were separated for different stages of the day tomorrow, and now I need to rethink the clothing plan for the kids. Just when I was about to start streaming tears again, Idan smacked himself in the face with a glow stick packaging tube…on purpose. Then he looked at me and started crying. What did he expect? My kids are weird. Exactly the comic relief that I need. It’s totally okay to laugh at that, he’s not seriously injured.
Oh, the packing list…I wasn’t foolish enough to even attempt makeup.
5:30am – I’m up curling my hair, because I need to have my swag on the last day my husband sees me for a while. He’s downstairs loading up his bags and the car topper. There’s no way I’m getting good gas mileage on the way home. All of his gear that I’m taking home alone weighs about 400lbs.
6:30am – I’m leaving to pick up the new puppy, Ace, while Chandler has his alone time with the boys. I’m starting to think curling my hair was a waste of time. It’s humid and windy out.
7:30am – I’m sitting at the bag drop. My husband is loaded down with his belongings for the next year, his ruck sack, a duffle bag, and a back pack…he didn’t have room for his x box, shaving cream, or q tips. I hate that he doesn’t have any personal items other than his lap top. The bags are piling up now. So many of these guys are so young..like haven’t even shaved yet young. Deep breaths…I should feed the dog.
Oh, by the way, my hair is flat and up in a pony tail.
8:30am – hanging out with the boys and Ace while my man is doing the accountability formation. So neat to watch him take on this deployment as a Senior Enlisted soldier. I’m feeling nothing but pride right now.
9:30am – I was doing so well…then the manager of the gym (because the unit is too small for their own reception field, so they use a gym for deployment ceremonies) told me we couldn’t have Ace in the building, because some people might have allergies. Even keeping him in the kennel was a no-go. Deployment day always has everyone in a fragile emotional state, so the tiniest things can turn on the fountain of tears. Once it starts, there’s no plugging it up. This lady was the straw that made the camel cry. Now, I can’t help but glance at the clock and notice that we have 1 hour and fifteen minutes left.
10:30am – As I look around the room, I see dad/soldiers playing with their kids, mom/soldiers hugging and kissing their babies, moms and dads of soldiers holding their sons’ and daughters’ hands, wives with their heads buried in their husbands’ chests, and I don’t hear anymore talking. Everyone is glancing at the clock now. I hate that stupid clock. I hate this stupid gym, and I hate the stupid happy music that is playing in the background. This whole thing sucks. I mean, the FRG did a wonderful job on the refreshments and freebies. I can’t wait to show the boys the new deployment video and go through my family care packet. I love the soldier dolls (totally awesome! There’s a spot to put in a picture of Dad, and it’s wearing ACU’s!)…anyway, the reception is nice and thoughtful, but it still feels cold. I just want to take my soldier, my boys, and my dog and go back home to Georgia.
11:30am – He’s gone 🙁 At 10:45am, Chandler stood up and called the boys over to him. He saved the big talk for the last few minutes. Just as he was beginning to speak, they announced, “Soldiers, line up! Kiss your loved ones goodbye. It’s time to go. Line up, line up. Company formations! Line up!” I wanted to throw up. We got jipped of 15 minutes! What the heck? Cole began to lose it saying,
“Wait! Dad was just about to tell me something! Wait!” Idan said he wanted to go with Daddy and the soldiers. My makeup was traded in for the same look of defeat that the other wives were wearing. I’m so glad we got Ace. He’s been therapeutic for all of us, especially Cole.
I am so grateful for all of the calls, texts, emails, and facebook posts from my friends and family. This initial separation time sucks the most, and the incredible support team that we have is so encouraging. The boys have developed this new obsession with The Lion King, and the cutest thing is when they sing the songs together. They are constantly critiquing each other on the correct lyrics and proper dance moves to mimic the actual movie scenes. Chandler and I have loved watching them and joining in these past two weeks. As a family inspired by the popular Disney film, we’ve decided that we’re adopting Timon and Pumbaa’s motto, “Hakuna Matata”. We’ve been reminding each other not to worry about the stuff we have no control over, which is basically everything right now. We appreciate distractions and busy days. Each day is another day to cross off the calendar in our countdown to reuniting our whole family again. I don’t know if it’s “shell-shock” or relief from finally exiting the countdown to the countdown, but I am actually feeling alright. I’m ready to get this over with and move onto the next phase of our military life, wherever that may take us. I just have to hurry up and wait…patiently. Let the crazy finally begin!
So, until next week, send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway!