Here we are, day 10 of the 19 day blogging spree for Top Military Mom. Shamelessly begging ya’ll to go vote, here. Pretty please??? >>>>>>>>>>>
Today was pretty darn awesome. Well, mostly.
The boys and I got up early and drove down to the 1/2 way point to pick up my only girl, my daughter (technically step) Emily for her long-anticipated summer visit. The boys have been looking forward to her visiting since she left last year, and I adore the time we get to have her for. Oh, and if you’re wondering if this is her first appearance on the blog? Heck no, she’s all over it in the summer, I just try to spare her from being on here too much, since at 15, her friends have the internet, and I’m not sure anything is as embarrassing as hearing about your step-mom’s blog. If you wonder where she jumps in from time to time, see HERE, HERE and HERE. So anyway, since she’s 15 now, our time gets majorly cut down, because well… she’s 15 and life kinda has different priorities at that age. I guess it’s all part of growing up, right? So our usual 6-8 weeks in the summer turned into 10 days, and I wiped a lot of little guy tears. Teenage years suck. Sigh.
Anyway, we grabbed Em and headed back up North, but made a pit stop at MOST, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology. On our Boys of Summer list, the boys wanted to go to visit a museum, so hey, we can do that! After all, MOST is a Blue Star Museum, so it doesn’t get any better than free fun!
Blue Star Museums are awesome for military families: From Memorial Day through Labor Day, over a thousand museums are free to you! While we mapped out our summer, I kept this in mind and made sure we were stopping along the way of our journey to take advantage of this for the kids. Just go HERE, select your state, and find the free museums in your area! Definitely awesome!
So we get through this uber cool museum, playing with robots:
But at the end of the museum was a fantastic helicopter flight simulator, and my heart just melted. One by one, the boys climbed in and couldn’t get it off the ground. Finally, I walked over and talked them through it, explaining that the pedals are not for “gas and brake” and how to use the cyclic. At this point, I realized how much I really learned when I was helping Jason with 5 & 9’s and listening to him through flight school. Definitely a cool mom moment when you can explain to your kids how to fly the helicopter. But even with that awesome moment, I only had one thought:
Jason should be here.
I was a poor stand-in for the professional helicopter pilot in our house. Sure, I nailed it, and they got the thing off he ground, but it’s just not the same. That should have been something he was able to show them and teach them.
It’s one more thing that he’s missing, and it’s killing me.
But that’s how life is for us. You push everything aside, the thought of what he’s doing, where he is, the ache in your chest that won’t leave no matter how fast or far you run, but the smallest things trigger the crumbling of your walls, and next thing you know – you’re close to tears in a museum over a freaking helicopter. That is the problem with loving someone so deeply: when they’re gone, there’s not a moment you don’t close your eyes and wish you simply breathe them in, even if only for a second. Deployment blues strike anywhere, at any time, and can last only the start of a second before you squash it, or can take you down screaming. I smiled through my sadness, congratulated the kids on landing (kind of… I mean, thank goodness they’re not getting wings soon), and we finished up the museum.
So, “Visit a Museum” is checked off, but something tells me we’ll find a few more to explore this summer. As for Em, we only have her for a short time this summer, which feels like a raw, gaping hole in my heart but we’re going to enjoy what we have. After all, in this family, that’s kind of our mantra. We love you while you’re here, we’re thankful for the time we get you, and we miss you while you’re gone. That goes for more than one member of this family.
Tonight is usually one of my favorite nights in the year, when all 5 of our kids are under our roof. But, it just seems to further drive it home that Jason’s not. Sigh. I would say that I miss him, but it’s not a strong enough word. Even adding “desperately,” or “achingly,” doesn’t fit that bill. I feel like I’m trying to function through our life without thumbs. Not having him here is glaringly obvious in every task I complete, every motion I make. I feel like I’m half of the person I’m supposed to be.
But I can sure as hell fake it for the kids, and I will.
Museum down. Future aviators trained. Daughter captured for 10 days, muwahahahahaa (insert evil scientist laugh).
Let’s see what trouble we can find tomorrow. 😉