Monday, September 20, 2010

Today, he left...

So by now, you pretty much know the early history of our Army life.  I haven't even gotten to the part about his deployment to Iraq in 2003, and already he left for Korea today.  We spent the last couple of days trying to fit in what we could.  

Friday night, Scott and I went out on a date to a Brazilian restaurant called Fogo De Chao.  That was a wonderful place with a great salad bar and the meat just keeps coming around.  It was nice to be out with Scott and not to be actually talking about the kids all the time.  We did talk about them some, but our whole dinner conversation did not revolve around them.

Saturday we went to the girl's soccer games.  They both played very well, and we got almost all the way home before the torrential downpour started.  The afternoon we spent getting laundry done and making sure everything was ready for him to pack.  Scott grilled a couple of whole chickens up, which would give us extra for sandwiches.  Yum!!  Saturday night, the realization that daddy was leaving started to sink in for Mackenzie.  Scott spent some time with her, and seemed to help her work through it.

Sunday we went to Mass as a family.  Even though Scott had become part of the choir for Knights of Columbus, he decided that he wanted to stay with us for Mass.  It was nice having all of us sit together.  Sunday afternoon between driving back and forth for RE and Youth Group, Scott took Mackenzie for one last ride on the bike and took Aidan to Garden Ridge for an impromptu driving lesson.  He won't get his permit till next summer, but Scott wanted to be able to take him out at least once.  We had a nice family dinner in the evening.  Scott said goodnight and goodbye to the kids, and finished packing.

This morning 4 am came way too early.  We spent some time together (both of us did our daily spin on bejeweled :) ) and I made the kids lunches while Scott got ready to go.  Aidan got up early to say goodbye to dad, and actually watched us from the front porch as we left to take Scott to the Airport.  I saw that same look in his eyes when he said goodbye to his dad way back in First Grade.  I know that he probably remembers all too well those feelings.  He is a good kid and covers it well, but I know it is hard on him.

The trip to the airport was uneventful, but it was really difficult saying goodbye to Scott.  I just didn't want to let him go, but as we were in a no parking zone, we kind of had to finish our goodbyes.  The drive back was very emotional for me.  I know that I will be okay.  Mom is here to help me, and I have plenty of friends.  In a way I am kind of relieved.  It was so long in coming, that the last week seemed like it was dragging by.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't want Scott to leave, but now we can start counting down until he comes home.  Of course I guess I should wait to start that countdown until her gets into country, which should be in a couple of hours. :)  

Day 1 done, only 364 more to go, but whose counting! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Countdown begins

Okay, so a week from today Scott leaves.  It has seemed like it was so far away for so long, that now I cannot believe that it is going to happen so soon.  This week will be chaotic, with movers coming to ship what he is going to take to Korea.  It shouldn't be much, it looks like he will be living in a furnished apartment.

Emotions are running high in the household.  I think the kids get that he is going to Korea, so we can stay here.  All the kids are loving the classes/schools this year, and we did not want to uproot them again.  This morning Aidan realized that if Scott wasn't going to Korea, that we would be moving again this fall.  Even Mackenzie, who has struggled (socially, not academically) at school since we moved to SA, is now liking her pod at school and would not want to move.  Still, she did say today that she wished the 20th would never come.  Brigid responded to her," then Dad would just have to leave on the 21st."  It was like the lightbulbs went on.

I relate the emotions of the kids to little thunderheads.  They seem to be floating along doing their thing, but when there is a clash, it explodes right away.  It is even true between them and us.  I think that once Scott does leave and the kids settle down into their normal routine, it should settle down.  I know it will also help when he is there and they see that we can skype on a regular basis with him it will help.  Scott will be 14 hours ahead, so it might be kind of challenging to set up times, but we will figure that out.

I know that Scott does not want to move to Korea, but that he knows it is what is best for the family.  He has been in the military for 21 years now, so he could retire to avoid the move, but with the economy the way it is, I know he was not looking forward to the prospect of trying to find a job.  It is quite a sacrifice that he is making for us, and I love him dearly for it.  It will be difficult for us, but I think more so for him.  I know that he is worried about leaving me here to take care of the household by myself, but I have Mom to help, and I know that there are many people that I can call if I need anything.

I just plan to take it one day at a time.  Thankfully, I know from Scott's deployment to Iraq in 2003 that the kids being involved in things is what kept me going.  I knew I had to get them to their activities, so I could not just sit around and withdraw from everything.  So now my kids are probably over-involved, and it is actually for my sanity, as odd as that sounds.

So, one more week.  We do have plans for a date night on Friday, and there is all the normal family stuff with a birthday added as well.  We had Brigid's kid birthday for her yesterday.  Also had friends over for a BBQ, which made for a fun evening.  Next weekend we will pull in ranks and spend as much time as a family before he leaves Monday. It will be fine! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Orders for Korea

So I will go back to our history of being in the military soon, but the reason that I started this blog in the first place is to help me deal with the daily struggles, and the emotions that come with being separated for a long period of time.  I think understanding the history is important, but right now I am dealing with the current.

Scott had his final out yesterday from Fort Sam.  He was able to spend some time with his unit while waiting for BAMC to reopen so he could get a second signature on his profile.  One of the stops that he had before his final out was at ticketing where he got his tickets for his flight.  He leaves on the 20th, which is just 2.5 weeks away!!!  There are so many things that still need to happen before he leaves.  It seems like we knew about it for so long, that it was so far way, but now all of the sudden the date is coming at us like a freight train.  

I know that this is the best option for us, it allows us to stay here, and Scott will come back here for another 3 years, and then put in retirement paperwork.  That means that the kids will be able to stay in the same schools  for the remainder of their schooling.  Our other option would have been to wait until he came down on orders, and then move to where the military wants.  That would mean selling our house and uprooting our kids.  With Aidan being in High School, that isn't something that either one of us wants.  

So now we are preparing for him to be gone for a year.  It could be worse, he could be going to Iraq or Afghanistan.  I have dealt with him being gone before, I know I can do it again.  The kids are older, it should be easier, right?  I also have Mom, thank goodness, who will be here to help me and hopefully keep me sane.  I have tried to set up our schedule so that I don't have too many conflicts.  I want to be able to handle this without asking for a lot of help.  I know that I have several friends that will help out if I need them, but I hate to ask too much of anyone.  I mean really, it isn't their fault that my kids are overachievers or that I cannot tell my kids no that they cannot do an activity.  

So now the fun begins.  Scott is on leave, so he has time to spend with the kids, and for us to mentally prepare for this extended trip.  The movers come next week to get what he is shipping, but it will not be much as it seems they have fully furnished apartments. Hopefully the transition will go smoothly.  Only time will tell.  Follow along and see if I survive or wind up in a looney bin!!! LOL.