I'm just an ordinary girl doing ordinary stuff.

I just happen to be a single mom in the military.

My kids are part of the military too.

When I deploy, their heart breaks too.

They're strong little guys.

Being their mom is the most humbling experience I've ever had.

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See if you can keep up with me as I serve my country holding my kids in my arms.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Leaving Again

A couple of weeks ago I left my boys for a one-week TDY to Virginia to attend a Non-Commissioned Officer Leadership retreat.  The week prior was crammed with crazy deadlines, on-the-spot demands and late nights.  Not to mention, handing off all my work to my second in command so he could successfully manage the shop.  It wasn’t until 2 am the Sunday of my departure that my anxiety about leaving kicked in.

I hadn’t slept.  I spent all night making sure I had everything ready to go.  At two o’clock it hit me.  I was leaving my kids again.  Sure it would only be for a week instead of nine months again.  Still, though, Caden just recently complained about a toothache the night before and Walmart was out of Oral Gel.  And yesterday, Sean asked me why he couldn’t come with me on my trip. 

Every day for the last week, I counted down the days with both kids, reminding them that I was leaving but that I’d be back.  “Just for five days, right Mommy?” Caden asked.  I had been so busy that not only had I not prepared for the trip until the last minute but I didn’t prepare emotionally to leave my kids.

So there I sat on the couch, checking Facebook and glancing at the clock every ten minutes.  At three-thirty, my hands started to shake and my belly began to cramp.  The taxi was due to arrive at four.  I looked at the boys as they slept. 

Caden was asleep in what looked like a very uncomfortable position.  I picked him up to move him and his little brown eyes slowly opened.  With a sigh, he wrapped his legs around me and snuggled his face into my chest.  Breathing in one last whiff of his scent, I held him a little tighter before laying him back down.

Sean was curled face-down with his knees almost to his chest and his hands beneath his belly.  He has always been such a cuddler.  Even in his sleep he made sure the pillow snuggled him.  I pulled his blanket over his back and kissed his head.

At three fifty-eight, the cab driver called to tell me he was outside.  Marie stood to hug me.  I felt my chest tighten and a lump rose in my throat.  “Okay,” I said as I headed to the door.  “Let’s not talk or I’ll cry.”

She smiled and nodded her head.  “Okay.”

I walked out, looked over my shoulder at her and said, “I love you.”  Without giving her a chance to say it back, I hurried to the cab.

I don’t think it matters really how long you’ll be gone.  The moment you step outside you know you won’t be there to see them wake up in the morning or hear them whisper and giggle at night when they know they need to be asleep.  Of all the things one could possibly face being in the military, leaving your loved ones behind is always the hardest.