Jason and I have been separated a ton during our marriage. We’ve been through trainings, TDY’s, trips to gunnery, NTC, JRTC, courses, and four deployments. Never in a million years did I ever think we’d volunteer to live separately during his dwell time. But that’s what’s coming at us in less than a week.
It looks like we’re going to have to rip our family apart for the chance to keep it together.
I haven’t blogged a lot… okay… at all, lately. Why? Because a lot of what’s really going on in our life, can’t be public knowledge. I can’t really tell you what happens in court, without violating privacy. I can’t explain what’s going on in vague terms for fear that one day this blog that I love will be used against me as was the case of a friend.
If I can’t tell you what’s really going on? I’m not going to give you some half-assed glossed over version. So what can I tell you? Emotions, I suppose.
Our absolute joy when we lock eyes above Little Miss’ tiny frame as she picks up on something we’ve been working at teaching her.
Our laughter as she wrecks the block-village our boys made for her in Godzilla fashion.
Her laughter at belly kisses or hand puppets.
Our hope that they’d give her permanency at her year-mark in foster care.
Our devastation that the court chose not to, but instead kept her in limbo.
Our anger that the primary legal consideration in her permanency is just…flawed.
I can tell you the way the car door sounded, soft yet final, as Jason tucked me into it after court. I can tell you the way my sob shook my body when I looked at him a few moments later and said, “I’m stuck here until May, at least.”Because Jason is headed out. I can tell you that I couldn’t stop crying that night as I had to explain to our boys that what little time we’re guaranteed to be together, we are choosing to be apart.
I can tell you that our boys chose to stay here, with no resentment toward their Little Miss, knowing we could still be leaving without her eventually, because they want to hold her as long as possible.
Sometimes the strongest souls dwell in the tiniest bodies.
Most of all, I can tell you how desperately we love her.
Yes, we asked the army to delay his orders, but they would have simply sent him somewhere else. We tried everything we could think of to stay together, but when it comes to the army, well, he signed a contract, and I signed a marriage license. They say go, he goes.
That night, we started to make the hard decisions we knew might be coming. Not to sell the house, to keep our kids in their own home since everything else is so uncertain. To sneak away with them for a weekend and soak up as much family time as we could.
So, I went home to Colorado for a few days, since it had been two years, and I missed my family, my mountains, and my friends. I took the time to do a little recharge, and make peace that we weren’t moving home when we’d hoped we would be.
The nephew. We will call him Mini-Neph, as opposed to Large-Neph or CO Niece. 😉
Mrs. Greenbay, who now lives in CO
Running Woman, of course!
The best friend, who needs no other title.
Nothing heals my soul like a few days in Colorado. Well, except maybe coming home to Jason and our little tribe of hooligans. I spent my last day with my sister, hoping in and out of her ridiculously large truck as we tracked down every house in school district 12 that will fit our family and then stalked the houses, scaled decks and took notes. The good thing about being so similar to your sister? She pretty much knows which house you’re going to like before you pull away. Big hill? No bueno for Rebecca. Flat land? Yes, ma’am. It was so easy to envision us living there, being with our family, which we will, once Little Miss is settled. It was so hard to fly away when I know that we should have been there last month to put the boys into school.
We took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge, listened to them scream down the slides and tucked them into bed when they stayed up entirely too late.
Canadian Mosquitos, man. They don’t F* around.
So now we’re home, and we’re prepping to be separated and well…. I’m kind of emotionally compromised. I know everything I need to do for work. I finished my first round of edits, I hired a wicked awesome publicist, and I’m booking up my summer travel. But I’m incapable of really… moving yet, afraid that the second I acknowledge that we’re about to be separated for 8 months by… “choice,”… well, that’s tough to swallow.
But please don’t tell us, “you’re so dedicated,” or anything else I’ve heard lately, like there was any other way we could have played this out. As Jason sat on the floor, playing with our Little Miss, and I drew up a list of things around the house I need help with before he goes, we talked honestly about why we’re doing this.
If someone told us Iron Man couldn’t move with us, we’d stay, too. We’re not leaving one of our kids behind, and I’m sorry, but after this last year in our home, we think of her as one of our kids. It’s the easiest decision to make with the toughest consequences, and as Jason actually said (and my fave Stephen Amell, which makes this PERFECT)
There is no choice to make.
I firmly believe that our world is a beautiful place, but when things go wrong, it’s because those who actually know what the right thing is don’t do it. We know what the right thing to do is when there’s such a little life at stake. But that doesn’t mean this doesn’t suck.
Yes, I’m stuck here, sole-caretaking 5 kids with therapists, visitations, 3 hockey teams, scouting and Lord-knows-what while Jason goes to school and then on to Colorado. Yes, I’ll be shoveling snow in another Fort Drum winter I never thought I’d see. Yes, I’ll be alone when my next book releases, and we’ll be apart for birthdays, holidays and milestones… again. But we’re choosing to look at the big picture, and in the words of one of my favorite people, Gordon B. Hinckley, we’re not forsaking what we want most for what we want NOW.
And what we want is our family.
So we’ll fight for our family, and we’ll wait for the day Little Miss has permanency, one way or another. And anyone who’s ever known Jason and I… well, we excel at the hard stuff. We kick ass when the times get tough.
We’ve got less than a week left together. Good thing we’re in the mood for some ass-kicking.