What's happened in the past month:
- Osama bin Laden was killed
- Jake has been out and about (not behind his desk!) doing secret squirrel missions
- Emily freaks out when Jake is out and about (not behind his desk!) doing secret squirrel missions
- Asher started at a new daycare
- Emily feels as if she's reached her limit (yet again) on this deployment
- Jake is able to make his mom & wife feel special on Mother's Day with some deliveries of beautiful flowers
- Emily arranged for Jake's motorcycle to be fixed up and ready to ride when he gets home, and it has been picked up, pampered, and returned home
- The weather has been cooperating at home, so lots of outdoor time, sandbox play, jogs on the bike path, which means bath time every night for the lil man
- Hotter weather, allergy season, mixed with dust, sandstorms, bad air, and more dust makes for an unpleasant "springtime" for Jake
- The first of the "replacements" for Jake's unit have begun to arrive
At this point, we are all tired of deployment. It's wearing thin on all of us. Patience in the combat zone is nonexistent...patience at home has been tested and retested....and the little man, although not privy to our adult conversations most days, has somehow felt the tension amongst both of us and has shown his fair share of "impatient" behavior as well.
Today, after work in my car, I was flipping radio stations and came across the song "I'm Already There" by Lonestar, which I haven't heard in a good 3 years at least.Listening to the words, I couldn't help but think of my soldier, who has been away now for over a year.
"We may be a thousand miles apart, but I'll be with you wherever you are. I'm already there...take a look around...I'm the sunshine in your hair, I'm the shadow on the ground, I'm the whisper in the wind, and I'll be there 'til the end. Can you feel the love that we share? Oh I'm already there...."
There have been so many moments throughout this year, that I just wish Jake had been with us...to share with us, to laugh with us, to console us....it's been very difficult to be without him, as he is a very active husband and father. Even without his physical presence, he has managed to make a lot of time for us, and we have tried to keep him in every day life with Flat Daddy, the talking story books, YouTube videos, and Skype dates. However, it's just not the same as having him really here.
Some of the things that happen without him here, I wonder if I would react differently about if he was here. For instance, Asher got into some mud in our yard the other night. It was the end of the evening, I was tired, he was tired, and it was getting to be time for bed. When he came around the corner of the house with mud on his hands, legs, shoes, and clothes, I got angry. I didn't laugh, or think it was funny. I scolded him, stripped off his clothes, and carried him into the house to get washed up. If Jake had been here, maybe we would have laughed together? Taken a few pictures? Chuckled in bed later that night whispering about what a funny kid Asher is? I've had a lot of these parenting "moments" that I'm not very proud of. Instead of laughing & tickling him, I yelled at him. Looking back, I feel guilty about how I reacted.
As I listened to the song today in the car, it just reminded me that no matter where Jake is, his heart and mind are on us, his family, even as he's doing "hard hero work." It reminded me that even when I don't think "he's here," that he really is...in the little things...my son's laughter, the dog's playful lick, the burnt dinner, the sunshine through the clouds.
Maybe instead of focusing on "one more mess to clean up," today's song was helping me to see that I need to be sure to find the fun, the laughter, the love in the little things...even the mud. And soon, he will be here.