Sorry for the crazy amount of absence here, but well, I’ve been crazy busy soaking up every minute I could with my parents.
Oh, you didn’t realize I was gone???
Totally not, but I thought it was pretty funny.
Anyway, my parents took a Baltic cruise (because their life is WAY more exciting than mine), and on the way back, they took a 10 day lay-over and spent it with me.
I haven’t been home in 8 months, and to say the least, I’ve been really homesick, so their visit came at the perfect time. Now in preparation for their visit, I get kind of all:
Because well… No one wants the eyebrow of disapproval from their mother. So they get here, and I remember what it’s like to be… happy. And sleep. Yes. Sleep like:
Because they can see, basically:
Right, so for 10 days, I have them here. And we take the boys to the movies, and the park, and drop Aaron at Scout Camp, and we visit the 1000 Islands winery where basically I’m like:
Well, not really. But maybe. Kind of. I definitely restock my emergency deployment supply. Having them here is like a balm to my soul, a chance to remember who I am, where I come from, and how to be who I was raised to be. Meaning when I’m telling my mother the things that are going on here, the way I feel alone 99% of the time, and she’s giving me this sound, fabulous advice like:
all I can think is:
There’s something to be said for being able to discuss your army-wife problems with the old-school army bunch. And we talk about their cruise, and how my siblings are, and whether or not the time is right for me to go back for my Masters, and just the company, and having them here makes me think:
Yeah. That. And we talk about the kids, and their general insanity, and how they’re coping with this deployment. And while I’m hoping the boys will be sane, and not-so-wild while their grandparents are here, instead, we kind of get:
and of course, Aidan and Chase are all:
So yeah. And my dad is cooking, and grilling, and they’re doing dishes, and my mom is like some laundry-folding genie like all:
And suddenly all my kids’ clothes are folded. They came in, and gave me this break, this respite, that let me take in a breath of air. To be surrounded by the people who know you, made you, and raised you, during a deployment, even if only for a moment, is priceless.
Of course, it wasn’t without it’s funny moments. I spent a ton of the time like:
Checking my cell or on my cell talking to Jason online. Yes, I know this probably annoyed them a wee bit, but honestly, I’ll take whatever stolen moments Jason can give me right now. I’m desperate for them. And with my parents, I can just admit what I don’t really say aloud much:
Yeah. Like that. When Jason’s gone, as much as I can put on a brave face, truck on and get the job done around here, I feel emotionally crippled. All. Of. The. Time. But I’m thankful for that ache. It always reminds me:
You said it, Ryan. So yeah, I’m on my cell when we’re at the winery, at brunch, in the car, at scout camp… you name it. If there’s a chance he’s online, I’m checking.
And then there was the work aspect of their trip. While I took a break from normal blogging, that didn’t mean I wasn’t posting author’ish stuff and working on beta reads and critiques. So generally, my parents are all:
Yeah. And they give me the:
Look, and I’m kind of like… hey, I gotta get it done. And when dad pops over and sees me pulling .gifs, my reaction is:
Totally kidding. Well, kind of. I swear, an author’s worst enemy is the internet. Really. They ask me what I’m working on now that Full Measures is on submission with Aeolian, and I’m trying to explain to them the plot problems I’m stewing over before I can begin my 3rd novel. They kind of look at each other like:
And all I can explain about this insane little process of me staring off into space is:
And for good measures, mom and dad…
No, but seriously, they’re awesome and supportive of this journey I’m on. Besides, all this crazy author-work pays off when I turn my cell phone back on after a Steering Committee Meeting and I see an email from Awesome-Agent Jamie saying that another major publisher has requested a full of Full Measures!!! So I’m ready to jump out of my seat like:
And proclaim on the conference table:
But of course I don’t… why? Because one, no one jumps on a conference table, not even in Tahari flats, and two, I don’t think a single person at that table even knows I write books… or this blog for that matter…
Which is actually kind of cool, because it makes me feel like:
So anyway, yeah, I drive home, on cloud nine, after texting Jason, of course, and burst through the door like:
YES! I share my awesome, outstanding news, and my parents do their version of a happy dance which is kind of like:
But seriously, they’re psyched, and I’m totally digging the chance to share the news in person and float through the rest of the day. How can I not?
We pick up Aaron from Scout Camp, and spend our last day hanging out at home. And something silly happens that prompts me to spontaneously burst into tears and tell them how much I hate it here and how badly I want to go home.
Luckily, they know this. But of course, they’re asking me where my friends are, and how I’m coping with it here, and with a few exceptions (you know who you are here) at Drum, I’m basically like:
What??? I’m trying to explain that I talk to a couple of my agency sisters to the point that they’re kind of my closest friends at the moment:
Yeah, so now I’m crying, like embarrassingly, and trying not snot all over myself, because the last thing I really want them to know is that I’m unhappy here when they can’t do anything about it. Yeah. I wanted them to come here, and see me happy and be like:
And instead, on a personal level, without Jason… It’s more like:
Yeah. But, I mean, if your parents can’t see you at your worst, then who can, right? But I’m realizing that tomorrow I’ll be back to being alone, 1800 miles from home, living way far away from the few friends I have up here, so I’m kinda outta-sight-outta-mind 95% of the time, and I’m whiny, pathetic, and feeling REALLY sorry for myself. Loneliness is making me psychotic. So I stave off the need for brownies and guilt-eating and run. and run. and run. And run some more. I know it’s not big to some people, but considering that I used to only be able to run/walk 2 miles in about 37 minutes, to go 4.5 miles, with the first 5K almost run straight through is huge to me.
It also keeps me from eating my feelings like:
And when Jason happens to IM when I’m in the middle of my run break-down, and I tell him what’s going on, he knows exactly what to say. “Do you know the bright side of your best friends being online and phone? They never stop by when the house is a mess.”
Good point, my love, good point. And now he has me laughing. I know Lizzy will soooo appreciate that comment. When you’re texting pictures of your growing laundry pile… well… Anyway, that is why Jason is my best friend, always.
So Mom and Dad leave this morning, and I’m kinda like:
But I hug them, and send them on their way, so very thankful that they took the time to see me. They did more good than they can know. And now, maybe I’m a little like:
And the minute they leave, this little cloud settles over me, like… I have over half of this deployment to go, and I’m just not sure how I’m going to pull myself the hell together. It’s never been this hard, he’s never been gone this long BEFORE a deployment, to where I feel like he’s already been gone a year, and there’s still so much to go. I’ve never been this lonely, and I’m ready to sink into a couple days of wallow like:
But then this thing happens… Running Woman calls so we can talk about the tanks we’re ordering for the Color Vibe run in 3 1/2 weeks! I realize, sure, this sucks now, and it’s hard, and it’s kind of pulverizing my soul into small bits, but the truth is, it’s going to pass. She’ll be here in 3 weeks, and after that, school will start, routine will come, and the countdown will move. As lonely as I am, it’s not like Jason won’t eventually be here. He will. I just have to stay sane enough to raise our kids, and honest enough with him to make sure we’re both aware of how the other is coping. So enough pity, enough sadness, enough.. wah, wah, wah… After all there’s a reason THIS
is my deployment motto.
I tend to learn something new every deployment, and this time… well, I’m learning that your battle buddies don’t have to be in the same unit (which they always have been), or the same Post, or the same State. Nope. Friendship is a miracle that spans miles, and disappointments, and mistakes, and years. Friendship is crying, and sometimes distance, and stories, and laughter, and making it through. So yeah, it might suck, but I know in 3 weeks, it’s steak in the back yard. Whether grilled, or ordered in….
Okay, deployment. Get off my case, get out of my head, and give me back my confidence.
I’m taking you down.