Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to the present time

Today, I read over at Butterfly Wife’s place that she’s in need of a time machine to bring her to the end of the deployment. I’ve been wishing for the same thing for the last year or so, but I also worry about what that wish really means.
I’m wishing my life away… I’m not living in enjoying the present… I’m wishing my children to grow up faster… I’m missing so much.
I have spent a good portion of this deployment just “going through the motions”… feeding and clothing the kids, feeding the dogs, keeping up the house, working, etc..
I didn’t want to enjoy anything. I was focusing only on my “to do” list of the boring, but necessary things that need to be done by me, and me alone since I’m now a temporary single parent.
My happiness suffered and the kid’s happiness suffered.
The kids are growing… I can’t stop that. They will be a year older than last Stuntman saw them. I wasn’t focusing on all of the things they’ve learned this year, all of the growth in their little personalities. I was just trying to keep them in one piece until Stuntman was home to be Daddy again.
A few weeks ago I realized all that I was missing… and I decided that I didn’t want to miss any more. I looked at the kids with fresh eyes and saw how they’ve grown. How did this all happen?
E1 is so mature. She really carries herself well. She’s not as stubborn as she has been since birth. Compromise is actually an option with her now.
E2 is no longer a toddler…. she is on the verge of reading. She’s not always the easy-going kid she used to be. She’s strong in her opinions… when did that happen?
E3, who was just a wiggly baby at the beginning of this deployment is an energetic toddler. “Energetic” doesn’t even begin to describe him. I swear he understands every word I say, and his language is improving.
The doggies have changed too... I couldn't stop Pumpkin from dying without Stuntman here, and Roxie and Sparky have "matured" since her passing.

I guess I just wanted the end to be here so Stuntman wouldn’t miss anything… but instead I missed it right in front of my face.


ABW said...

So true, so true. Last time I had a horrible day and was just ready to call it quits, I wanted the deployment over! Gunner called and reminded me that he would take a bad day over no day at all. I had the chance to enjoy the kids and so many things and I wasn't taking the time to enjoy it enough for the two of us.

Great post!

Butterfly Wife said...

It is the idea of missing what is right in front of my face brings me back to now and out of shopping for a time machine. You put it very well. Thanks.

Lindsay said...

Great post! I can't relate on having a husband gone, but with so many friends deployed right now it resonates with me on a different level.


Marine Wife said...

You put it so well. I struggle with this all the time but I fear I'm not doing as well as you at being "present."

TripleE said...

Marine Wife...I have my moments. it's about 80 to 20%... 80% in the present and 20% wishing my time away... getting better, the % used to be reversed.

Guard Wife said...

This is a great post, Triple E. It really goes to the heart of a very real, widely shared realization that hits at some point during deployment. I remember once I had that revelation, I was a lot more settled in myself and had a resolve I didn't remember from before...not that it took care of the down days, but it was there all the same.

A Soldier's Wife..... said...

I think you put this very well. It is something that I advocate with young spouses about making sure to remember to continue living their lives during deployments. Things do not cease just because their soldier is deployed, they can not shut down their life for a year to 18 months because they have to be the single parent or person in a relationship. We lose time because of the war, but we do not lose ourselves or our relationships with those we love. It can often be a wonderful time for self growth and also a time to court our soldier/and he us from afar provided that you address it with the right attitude and perspective. My husband and I have used this time over the years to benefit our relationship instead of letting it pull us apart, otherwise with 4 deployments in 5 years we would have had many problems with such little dwell time to reconnect.

Truly a great post, thanks for putting it out there.

Ann M. said...

A wonderful post, and very true. I think sometimes we feel guilty that we are the only ones who get to bear witness to the things that happen back home, and sometimes that guilt gets in the way of actually seeing what happens around us. Most of the time I swing back and forth--either I don't want to acknowledge that time is passing and that he's missing things, or I just want it to fly by so that it's over already.