a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Third time

last moments at home

breakfast together


Evie was told to smile for the camera.

Today is day #2 of deployment #3. Yesterday we dropped Justin off and began the countdown plunking off days until he's home again in a year. It's funny how some of the "deployment feelings" have been the same each time now, and some are very different. I always have this heavy, literal heartache. If you've had that feeling, you know what I mean. I always thought that was a figure of speech, but it's really not. My stomach usually feels a bit queasy when my mind wanders to the big picture of it--that he'll be away for an entire year and what that means he'll miss out on and what we'll have to do without him. But that's not how you do it--at least not how I do. I take it one day at a time, from one call to the next, happy with myself when I'm happy and strong and productive, and try not to get too down on myself when things just fall apart. They do sometimes, but isn't that the same with everyone? It just feels more lonely during deployment.

This time around, predictably, the hardest part I think is coming to terms, not with my own sense of loss, but with Justin's and Evelyn's. Our little girl just turned two and to imagine the child she will be in a year spins my head, and honestly breaks my heart. If the infrastructure is in place, which it hopefully will be, we will be able to Skype and allow for the two of them to still talk and see each other over the course of the year. Evie understands this concept and enjoys visiting with my parents via Skype, so I am hopeful it will help her cope and understand Justin's absence. As much as we've tried to explain, I can tell it just hasn't sunk in yet what this deployment thing means. Honestly, how can it? How do you explain to someone two years old that her daddy will be gone for half of the time she's been alive?

She's doing fine so far...she claimed this morning when I went in to change her diaper that "Daddy checked it" already. You might be afraid this is some kind of delusional coping mechanism, but it's just a sneaky two year old trying to get out of a diaper change. The "somebody else checked it" game started about a week ago...she first claimed to Justin that "Mommy checked it" and when he brought her in to ask me, confirming I had not, she switched gears, suggesting instead, "Bebe checked it!" You remember Bebe from The Inner Circle? She's not exactly capable of diaper changes...any more than Justin is for the next year.

Then there was this morning when Chokydar heard a noise outside the house starting her usual reaction and alerting everyone to the disturbance. Evie's eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "Daddy's home!!" with such joy, my tongue caught in my throat for a moment.

"No, honey, Daddy's not home yet. He won't be home for a long, long time, but he will come back and he loves us very much."

"He loves us VERY much," she agreed.


Kyla said...

It sounds so difficult, but you handle it well. I'm sure you'll help Evie to do the same.

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