Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There are many forms of thirst. ~William Langewiesche

I've tried to be flippant about Wednesday.

I really have. But the truth I can no longer hide is that Wednesdays are serious business. They have a gravitational pull so strong that they drag Tuesday down a bit. Maybe sometimes a little more than a bit.

Wednesday is the day that my mailbox- the real one outside with its red flag and numbers- is faithfully open just a crack from my mailman not knowing to lift then pull. Wednesday, dear friends, is letter day.

Before this all truly began, I had an idea that the hand-written, once-weekly letters would be romantic in a way. Not so much their contents, but just the novelty of the envelope, the inked words, and the fact that my often stoic SquidRecruit cared enough to use his rest time to share his week with me. I had no idea just how much they would come to mean. Once a week I get his thoughts passed along, when for almost ten years I've been used to hearing them multiple times a day. Want a crash course in not taking your spouse's words, thoughts, opinions for granted? Give boot camp a spin.

As precious as these letters are, they adhere to the law of diminishing return. By Tuesday, you really have pored over every detail, every possible tone, learned his bunkmate's name and sleeping habits by heart. You get this antsy feeling. The letter that made the whole world a better place six days ago is no longer adequately quenching your insatiable thirst for all things informational and anecdotal. You need more. And really soon, or you just may  fall out in a room full of people from communication dehydration. It's a serious condition. So you sit, or work, or play, or blog as normal but inside you are just fidgeting, twiddling, wondering when Mr. Postman will look and see if there's a letter waiting for me. The Marvelettes know what I'm talkin' about.

Then it comes- God love that precious USPS worker!!- and you so carefully steam the envelope open  tear that poor envelope to pieces with shaking hands to see the most wonderful handwritten "I love you"s and stories and interesting new phrases picked up from colorful RDCs, and you forget how parched you felt. This one will sustain you more than six days! No way your skin will be crawling in six days!

...except that you can clearly see what day of the week I've written this on.

I miss you, SR. Your words, your time, your effort- I see it and I cherish it. Thanks for taking what little bit of time you have to let me and the kiddos know just what we mean to you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I have some infinitely wise advice for you.

If you should ever hear a phone ring, and you look down at said phone and happen to see the area code 847, drop everything; pick it up right away. It is a magical number that will take you back in time to a day maybe six months ago when your husband could have called you on his way to his next job. Or whatever normal thing your husband was doing six months ago, before boot camp. After four weeks and two letters, I got to hear SquidRecruit's voice, in all its exhausted wonderfulness. He is doing well. He's kept his sense of humor but sounds like he's playing by the rules just fine, which I knew wouldn't be an issue. I can't explain to anyone who hasn't received that call, or one like it anyway, how it felt to just hear him being him. Saying goodbye  see you later was hard, but getting to talk to my best friend for 40-something glorious minutes was so worth it. The next call I get will likely be the "I'm a sailor" call, and by then we'll be heading to Chicago to watch him graduate and then abduct him for as long as the US Navy will let me. I'm counting the days...

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Neverending Birthday Story

Dear little blog, I have neglected you. I have traded my keys for black or blue pen ink, my lovely, easily edited rectangle of self-expression for college rule and lots of strike lines and errors. All my words go to SquidRecruit, and I'm not sure whether he likes that or not, because I have lots of words. But I promise to be more faithful, and to get caught up.

First thing you need to know is that Bug was born on July 6th, and Sugarplum came almost five full years later on July 1st.

Second, you need to know that this year, we've been celebrating their birthdays since June 7th. Yes, that's right. I can hear your gasps of horror, seasoned mothers of military brats...go easy on me. I'm learning.

We celebrated for three days with Daddy before he left. We celebrated on the actual days. We celebrated with separate sets of grandparents. We celebrated with a family party as well as a sleepover. And now, unless there is a surprise party no one told me about, we may finally be finished. Don't get me wrong, I love birthdays- especially my babies' birthdays. I'm pretty sure they should be national holidays. However, it appears that I am birthday'd all the way out. I have just enough energy from the leftover cake to recap.

We'll start with Sugarplum Fairy, because although she lacks seniority, she wins in the calendar race. Sugarplum wanted a birthday alliteration: pancakes, popsicles in the park, and possibly a pony ride. It was overall a good day, all wishes granted, but oh my goodness did that child want her Daddy. More than other days. It's amazing what such a tiny little person can perceive. I have to say, as much as I hate that I can't do anything for her when Daddy is all she wants, I adore her for knowing she deserves his time, deserves his presence and attention. She may not get it every time she wants it, but I love how she knows she's entitled to it. Here is my favorite moment from her day:

We braved 4th of July weekend in Tourist Town head-on to get to the final birthday wish. That, my friends, is called love. She had four ponies to choose from, and of course, of course,  she chose the one named "Ms. Priss"- they were a match made in Heaven. Pretty as can be and slightly stubborn to lead, but a total joy. Bug's pony "Patches" was much more cooperative, but slightly hyper. Another match well made.

Bug chose a day at the pool, an Egyptian restaurant, ice cream on a deck, and a twilight ride to our favorite tiny airport to see planes because they make him think of Daddy, but in a happy way. I'm with him on that. Oh and before you get too impressed with my little adventurer's choice of Egyptian food, I must tell you: he goes there for the grilled cheese. Sadly his pool day was cut short by storms, but he insisted it was still "The best birthday ever...well one of them, I should just say that, 'cause how do I know what I thought about my birthday when I was really young, like two?" Here's my favorite Bug birthday moment:

The owner of the restaurant plopped this down on his head, and being the ham he's always been, he rolled with it. And for those of you who peruse backgrounds...that is my brother, father of my precious precious niece Moo, from now on referred to as Jarhead (Yes, he's a future Marine. It's in the water around here.) in a mullet hat/wig combo, also pulled from the restaurant owner's wide array of costumery. I think he looks extra fancy. And Bug, as always just looks spectacular. This kid could rock anything.

I wouldn't trade those days, and the other five or ten or so of celebrating for the world...but I wished with all my heart that our SR could have been there. The kids did get some pretty amazing "cards" from a certain naval base in Great Lakes, complete with highlighter yellow embellishments. I really do love that man, and I'm hoping and praying that next year he and his endless ingenuity are here with us to celebrate two extra candles being blown out. SR...our babies. All our lives rolled into two little people. Yours and mine- too big, too fast.