Although it's really nice to live life with rose colored glasses on, it's also imperative that we take them off every once in a while and let our eyes adjust to the light. This is going to be a serious post.
Living in the military housing gives me a chance to be completely immersed in the culture that is the US ARMY, a real feeling of how big it really is, how many people, families, make this possible. It comes with some realities though that I'm not sure I was ready for.
A month or so ago, Josh (My Husband), was on his way home to spend his lunch with us, when he was passed by two blacked out vehicles. These cars were not being driven by someone interested in hiding their awesome stereo either. Instead, dressed in full class A's these soldiers were on their way to knock on someones door and change lives forever. I know it shook him up and the feeling clung to him for a few days, but in some ways it's important for us to feel these things.
They play "Taps" here on post every night that a Fort Hood soldier has been taken from us. It brings tears to my eyes and stops me in my tracks every time. Josh always looks to see if I heard it or not, I know he hopes I'll miss it sometimes, because I feel so deeply. It's the saddest song you'll ever hear, and there aren't even lyrics, just that sad bugle sound resonating throughout the night sky. At first I thought, why do they have to play that? It's so sad, so final. Now though, I realize that it's a final tribute, a few moments of your day to stop and remember these men and women that are out there making the ultimate sacrifice so that our children can grow up in a free country. When I hear it I say a prayer for the Mother, the Wife, the Child, that lost a piece of themselves that can never be replaced. While I pray constantly that those cars never pull into my driveway, that my children get to grow up with their Daddy around, I understand that no one is guaranteed a long life, what we are given is a chance to make every day that we have count.
I'm not trying to be morbid or depressing, I just need to remind myself sometimes that the future is not set in stone, we hit bumps, we have to climb mountains, and sometimes we feel like we're dangling over a cliff with a two hundred pound gorilla hanging on our pant leg. We have to make the most of the time we have, tell the ones we love everything we need to when we feel it. What's the point in waiting? Some people say that when your soldier is deployed you shouldn't talk about how the washing machine is breaking, the car needs a new engine, the dog keeps peeing on the carpet, but why? They're still in every way your Husband, your best friend, and your partner in all things domestic. They signed up for "better or worse" and they don't want to miss out on what's going on back home. Maybe they can't climb under the sink and fix the broken faucet but they can still laugh with you about how you're two year old smashed a dozen eggs in the kitchen and then tried to blame his sister.
I've struggled with accepting the idea that Josh is going to miss so much of his kids babyhood. Sophia is going to make huge changes before Josh gets back from the RockBox, but the bond between them is unmistakable. She knows that is her Daddy, that he loves her, and that he gives the best snuggle hugs and silly kisses. Lincoln is more aware of the fact that Daddy was gone most of the last year. He asks me sometimes if Daddy is coming home tonight, and when the answer is no, though his little spirit is crestfallen, he looks at me with those sweet eyes and says, "Okay Mama." He's going to be such a strong spirited kid, and I love that about him. He loves deeply and lives loudly already, and he makes Josh and I so proud.
Our life feels a little messy and unorganized right now, kind of like the silverware drawer now that the kid's can reach it. Everything we need is in there, it's just a little tough to navigate. We're going to have to spend some time sorting through the mess, organizing the things that we can, and learning to live with the things that we can't. There are some sharp edges in there, but I know where the band aids are, so I think we're covered.
Life as a parent is messy anyway, filled with diaper changes and Cheeto fingers, chocolate in the seat cushions and never ending dirty laundry. I'm thankful that I've had some time as a Mom before adding the Army challenges. I think it's been some good training for the unpredictable.
My thoughts are getting disorganized, so I'm going to call it a day, but until next time, consider yourself Nicked!