What a day! We had a pretty good one today! The boys woke up in pretty bad moods, but they mellowed as the day went on. I got some photo edits done for the maternity shoot that I did and watched a couple of movies with the kids. Then when David got home I informed him that I was taking him and the boys out for dinner :) We went to a restaurant on base called the Sea Breeze. It is a beautiful place right on the ocean with a beautiful wood balcony with the tables right out there overlooking the water and the sunset. It is almost like a place you would picture if you were listening to the Jimmy Buffet song "Bama Breeze". The one drawback is that every time we have gone the food has been terrible! LOL! But it was still worth the money for the ambiance. After dinner we took the boys for a walk along the beach even though it was dark and Austin chased the "crabbies". It was a beautiful night and we really enjoyed it.
Thankfully at the last minute we found someone to watch the boys tomorrow! David has a work function at Bellows! For those of you that are not in Hawaii, Bellows is a beach on the other side of the island that is absolutely beautiful! It is exactly what you would expect to see on a post card of a tropical island! Remember the aqua blue Kool-Aid? It looks EXACTLY like that! Gorgeous! There are beautiful mountains in the background and a few little islands scattered around. It is truly amazing! That is actually where I have done most of my family photo shoots. Anyways, as if I hadn't made it clear, Bellows is one of our favorite spots on the island. It has only one drawback. Every time we go we see at least 2 Portuguese Man of War jellyfish on shore and last time we went David actually got stung by one! And I narrowly escaped getting stung. I almost walked right into one in the water. So we don't like to take the kids there anymore. Anyways, David has a work function there tomorrow so we will be going to that, and luckily we found someone to watch the boys.
Well, he leaves the day after tomorrow. I am still waiting for it to hit, but my brain just doesn't seem to want to process it. You know how when your body realizes that it is in extreme pain the brain shuts it down and you faint? I wonder if this is something like that; a defense mechanism. Maybe I realize that this is going to be a painful time for our family so my brain has just kind of shut down in that department. I had a little bit of a moment today. I was just sitting on the couch playing around on my laptop. I wasn't thinking about the deployment, I wasn't watching or reading anything sad. Nothing out of the ordinary. And all of a sudden I just started tearing up. I did not feel any sadness or reason to cry, if anything it was kind of annoying because I wasn't actually crying; tears were just falling down my face. It only lasted about 5 minutes and that was that. But it still got me thinking. Why don't I feel anything? No pain, no fear, just nothing. I almost hate admitting that because it makes me look cold and unfeeling, but that is not the case. I don't want him to go and I will miss him when he is gone.
Right after Aiden was born when we found out David was going to be sent to Korea, I remember as he told me I got a knot in my stomach and my throat closed up and I almost had a breakdown right then and there and he was only leaving for a month. Granted I had a newborn with colic and reflux and a 16 month old, so I guess that would be enough to panic anyone, but still. I don't feel anything close to that this time. Is it just that I am getting older and more mature and can handle more now or what? It's really frustrating. I almost wish I was a mess and breaking down right now because at least that would be a normal reaction. But either way, I know that I love him and I know that I miss him, and no matter what the coming days bring I know that I will do everything that I can to continue to stay strong for my boys.
While we are extremely happy about David getting to come home for 2 weeks and be here for Thanksgiving, we discussed some of the downfalls of it too this evening. For instance, he will be gone just long enough for the boys and I to get into a routine and get used to him being gone, then he will be back. But conversely, he will be home just long enough for us to get used to him being here again, then he will be gone again. And the more frightening worry; when he leaves the first time, Austin will not necessarily understand the significance of the airport scene. But after the first time going and dropping Daddy off at the airport, then he doesn't come back for a long time, he might understand it more the second time. I was 3 years old the first time my father, who served over 20 years in the Air Force, left for a short tour at Korea. Don't ask me how I remember him leaving but I do. I may have only been 3 but that memory is something I will never forget. I knew he was leaving and I tried to chase him onto the plane. My grandmother, I believe, grabbed me before I made it too far. Maybe that was after his R&R so I realized what the airport meant. I don't know. All I know is I remember it. And as hard as it will be to put my husband on a plane to Iraq, it would break my heart even more to watch my son struggle to chase his father screaming after him. Whew, I am tearing up just thinking about that. That scene is something no mother would be ready to face. My heart would be breaking for myself, but even worse for my child.
We made the decision to have, not only homecoming photos done, but also to have our friend at the airport to do photos when David leaves. I know quite a few people that have done this, and I realize it is not a common practice, but we decided it is something we want to do. Good or bad, it is an important moment in our lives. I had someone ask me why we decided to do it and I didn't really know how to answer her question at the time, so it is something I have been really reflecting on. First of all, there is the obvious. Heaven forbid it, and no one wants to think like this, but there is a (hopefully remote) possibility that that may be the last time we ever see him. You don't want to think like that, but in this case you almost have to. Some people would argue that he could get in his car to go to work and that might be the last time you see him too and they would have a very valid point. But I think anyone would know that this situation is a little different. Things are not as bad as they have been in Iraq, but they are by no means safe either. I kind of laughed at David because he does this kind of macho thing sometimes and when we were renewing our vows when he gave me the dogtags he made a speech and he said "I am going off to a dangerous place, to do a dangerous thing..." and the way he said it is like he should have been in some indy film or something! LOL! I gave him so much crap about it later, but really, it is true. He is going to a dangerous place and we have not lost sight of that. But that part aside, like I said, good or bad, this is an important moment in our lives. So yes, our faces will probably be red and puffy from crying and it will be a very sad occasion, but I think it is important to do at the same time. There are probably a lot of people that would disagree with me, but we both felt it was important.
I don't think it has really become real for him yet either. He hasn't even started packing his bag yet. We will be gone most of the day tomorrow and he flies out the next day and he has not packed a single article of clothing. I think that this is going to creep up on us really quick, and when that happens, and you don't really emotionally prepare yourself, that is when it hits really hard. But he leaves the day after tomorrow. And in an hour and a half I will be saying he is leaving tomorrow. I just don't know what to do with that.
Well, I have a math test to get to so I am going to close here for the night, but I want to end on my positive note! So my highlight for the day was definitely walking along the beach with my family. David was holding Aiden's hand, and Austin was holding mine, and for the first time, the boys joined hands and walked together too. So we were all connected for that 20 minutes along the beach. What I would have given to have a picture of that!