Friday, February 25, 2011

"Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised"- Denis Waitley

After reading the "fine print" and seeing that futureSquid will be at school a considerably longer time than we had first thought, the kiddos and I will be packing up our things and moving. We won't be living on base- his A school is not long enough to be eligible, but with pre-requisistes, hold times, and a couple of holiday breaks, paying out of own pocket (the Navy will pay for our move whe fS gets his orders for his station) and being close to him seems worth it. I can't imagine if we had stayed here thinking it'd be six months, only to learn it would be another, then another, then another. That's too much for me to break to my kiddos. So, roughly two weeks or so after fS's graduation from Boot Camp, the Bug, the Fairy and myself will be making the 515 mile trek to our temporary home; our detour on the way to permanent orders. That's six months from now, and also six months from the time we had planned on leaving. Cutting our move time in half has been a tad overwhelming, by way of emotions and figuring out getting settled in an almost entirely unfamiliar place, all but blindly.  I'm thrilled and more relieved than I can say to have futureSquid close, even if it's only on the weekends, and I think the kids for sure need their father every bit they can have him, but now I feel like the goodbyes we have to say at home begin. Of course I would have felt this way leaving at our first planned date- I know I would-but this is the first time it's been fully real. Having lunch with Phoebe and the beautiful Miss Shish yesterday, Shish sitting beside me telling me about Hello Kitty and play kitchens, her eyes all giant and brown and her 3 yr old pigtails bouncing while she talked...I wanted to listen, but all I could think was, "How many more times will I see her before I go? What if she forgets me?" The littles scare me far more than the older kids or the adults. My mind goes often to my niece, and I feel kind of panicky. I don't know what I'd do with myself if I came back for a visit and Moo was shy with me. I suppose this is the risk we take, but still, it's difficult to think about- now, six months, or a year later. In my short stint as an Air Force brat, I didn't forget anyone- I actually have wonderful memories of visits back "home" and relatives coming to see us. I'm sure this will be the same, but in the back of my mind there's always those little nagging doubts. We've not even truly started this journey, and already I'm seeing just how very much I am going to have to lean on God. It reminds me of the first bible verse my futureSquid ever learned- I wasn't there of course, he was tiny. I almost feel like I was though- I can't count the number of times I've heard about it from two grinning parents who look as proud now as I'm sure they did almost twenty-five years ago, the first time it came out of his mouth-  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God - Phil. 4:6

For now I'm going to try my best not to stress about the unknowns, pray for His peace and comfort for the sadness that is sure to come, and give thanks for the opportunity to be with my amazing husband much sooner than we had hoped.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Consolation Prizes

"This is going to be harder than you know," a friend warned me Saturday morning, regarding the nine months of seperation we're heading for fast. She's pardoned from a beheading only because I know that A) it's the truth, and B) she'll be there for me, front and center when things are indeed harder than I've ever known them to be. Last night we had our first rough taste of things to come. During the Super Bowl, a commercial for the new Transformers movie came on. Bug was immediately excited and making plans, he and futureSquid and popcorn and candy,  and then I saw the numbers that made my heart sink:


Ugly numbers, breaking promises to my little boy before he can even get them fully imagined out. I wasn't sure what to do really, but I knew that saying nothing would feel like a lie to me now, and a lie to Bug later. He was already in my lap due to goofiness, but I was grateful for the timing.

"Bug, Daddy won't be here for that."

The sis-in-law turned her head, and I knew she was probably teary. I looked at futureSquid, but he kept his eyes fixed on the tv screen in a way that I understood was intentional. Bug curled up into my lap further in a way that I knew meant he was about to cry himself. For the first time in years, I literally rocked with him while his shoulders shook. I don't think I've ever felt so sad up to this point in our journey. After being calmed down with a promise to take a trip to see Dad at school with the Transformers in hand, the moment was diffused and Bug was back to bouncing around the room. But futureSquid and I exchanged looks, both worried. I couldn't help asking myself, the question I've heard from others, in so many words: what have we gotten into? Is wherever this leads worth the sadness, the missed birthdays, holidays, and the unexpected moments? It sure wasn't feeling like it when my Bug was sitting there in my lap. That was last night, and it didn't leave my mind all morning. Then futureSquid called me to tell me about something an older, wiser, and brutally honest relative from "my side" had said to him as he left his house. He thanked Branden for being himself and doing what he believed would be best the four of us, and not letting anyone's opinions sway him. I think we both needed that so much. Will he miss some things? He will, no doubt, and it will hurt. A lot. But was my husband brave enough to break out of his comfort zone to better himself and our family, to live up to God's full potential for him? He was, and I think that in doing that he is teaching our family the most amazing lesson. As much as we're losing, I believe that much we will also be gaining. As my dear friend said, it's going to be harder than we know, but it can also be more fulfilling, exciting, and strengthening than we know, if we'll only open ourselves up to it. I'm sure we will have a few more movies to watch at A school, or emailed pictures where real life should be, and I'll for sure have to think on my toes in a year full of consolation prizes, but I'm also thinking it may be a relatively small price to pay for our children to hear from their father to follow their hearts, to go for what they want, and to know it's coming from experience- not regret.