Deployment. Ug. Here we go again. It’s 6 months off, which right now may feel like a lifetime, but I know it will fly by. Before we know it, he’ll be gone again. It doesn’t help that we’re headed to the 10th Mountain, which has the record of the most deployments since OEF and OIF began. I know that we’re headed for year-on, year-off for the next few years. So, I have this theory: The worst part of a deployment is whatever part you’re currently in. If you ask any military wife, I’m pretty sure we’ll tell you that whatever we’re going through is the worst part. Dropping them off? Awful. The first month and trying to get a routine down? Yuck. Midtour? A bunch of nerves and saying goodbye again. 8 months in, and you’re just worn down and exhausted? Oh boy. Worrying about adjusting to redeployment? Seriously, the whole process just kind of stinks. Well, except for that first rush when you finally get your arms around them at a redeployment ceremony. Nothing equals that high.
So in my mind, this is the worst part: the waiting for it to start. He’ll be gone in 6 months and I can’t help but feel like everything is tainted by it. I watch him playing with the boys, and I just think of everything they’ll miss for that year. I see him helping Brody dye his first Easter Egg and I realize he won’t be helping next year. I think selfishly about the fact that this is the year that I will FINALLY graduate college, and I’ll turn 30. But he’ll miss both of those things. I think about the fact that Aaron is 7 now, but it is Aidan who will be just shy of turning 7 when Jason gets home. I find myself trying to memorize every detail so that when he’s been gone 10 months I can still remember the smell of his shirts, the feel of his skin, the sound of his boots hitting the entry way, and the sound of my children laughing as he wrestles with them on the floor. My mind constantly races with thoughts of powers of attorney, getting snowed in alone, planning vacations, and keeping the boys busy. It’s almost as if by knowing that he’ll be gone in the future, that some of the joy has been sucked out of the present. It’s so bittersweet, because on one hand, my wonderful husband is asleep upstairs, but I know he won’t be there 6 months from now. Part of me just says, “hurry up and go!” Not because I want him gone, but because I want him to come home. The sooner he goes, the sooner he comes home.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky we’ve been to have him home so much in the last few years. Though his work hours have been nuts and the stress of flight school is enough to make the husbands pull their hair out and the wives to stamp their feet in frustration, he’s been in our bed every night. Well, except Fundet nights. He missed both the first years of Aaron and Aidan’s life, and yet we’ve been so blessed to have had him here to witness both Chase and Brody’s first moments. There was a time, back when we were in 3 ACR, and Jason was gone 2 out of 3 years, that deployment seemed second nature to me. Maybe I was stronger then. I know I certainly had less kids! But I’ve become spoiled by having him here with me.
So this to me is the worst part, for now. I guess I have to step up and remember how to change a tire, how to kill spiders and learn how to handle the heathens on my own. Basically to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I’m up for the challenge, but it still sucks. I’m happy to put a supportive smile on my face for my husband and my beautiful boys. After all, this is the life we chose and though parts of it seem unbearable, it’s also brought us remarkable blessings. Besides, I love my army aviator, and at the end of the day, it makes it all worth it.