A Recap of the Week

It was a long, busy, first week of summer vacation.

On Monday, Billy got his staples out of his head. I tried to make a same-day appointment, but they told me to just walk in. They made us (all 6 of us) wait for well over an hour. Some things you just have to offer up.

That afternoon, I had an OB checkup. In and out in 15 minutes.

Tuesday was my ultrasound. Wednesday, Fritz had an appointment with the orthodontist and had his expander removed. I can understand him so much better now. And the dentist called and was able to squeeze Billy in last minute for a tiny filling (the first cavity among the kids).

That evening, Fritz had his Scouts den meeting. Only 4 boys came. They all helped in a demonstration to make a foil dinner packet. Then the dad pulled out one already cooked and everyone sampled it. My boys thought it was great. It is true that children are more willing to taste food if they help to prepare it.

When they were all done, out came the snacks with plenty of extras for the siblings who were there (mostly mine, but I brought the snacks). All the kids were on the back of one dad’s pickup truck, but the 4 boys from the den plus Billy grabbed their snacks and ran off to a bit of woods across a field near the parking lot.

This left my girls and two other girls in the pickup truck with Petey. It took about 60 seconds for Petey to look around, assess the situation, and determine that he should be with the boys and not the girls. “Down, Mommy,” he said, and he was gone.

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting little Mary Claire who is so very pretty. Mama Cris is another Catholic, military, homeschooler, and it’s a shame that our paths are crossing just this one time right now. The blogosphere is fine, but being able to hang out in someone else’s house while your children eat their complete supply of graham crackers tops 20 love notes in the com-box any day.

As we were leaving, her almost 4 year old daughter and my daughters were talking about a sleepover, which just isn’t going to happen in these few brief weeks. In the ever-mobile military, you have to accept that the physical closeness of friends (like the physical closeness of the spouse serving in the military) is a luxury. Just before Scouts on Wednesday evening, we ran over to another friend’s house to deliver a goodbye card that Katie had made. The departing kids were packed in the car, the parents were loading the last few things and waiting for housing to do the final walk-through. The mom and I hugged, we smiled, we wished each other well on our new adventures. We didn’t exchange cell phone numbers or email addresses. We like each other, we have stuff in common, we got along, but we weren’t able to develop a really deep friendship. Maybe I’ll never see her again. Maybe I will, and if so, we’ll pick up right where we left off. And in between, we will both have other friends with whom we’ll spend a few hours a few times lingering over tea and good conversation while the kids play, perhaps helping out in a pinch a few times, and then hugging and wishing well when it’s time for the next duty station.

This military life is so impermanent. But in the final analysis, so too is our life here on earth. If you want to learn detachment to things, people, places: be a military spouse.

Yesterday, my friend Rachel and I went kid-less to the IHM Conference. I really enjoyed listening to Laura Berquist speak. It is comforting to hear someone who is at the end now of her homeschooling career (her youngest of 6 just finished high school) talk about all the same issues you face daily. There is hope, you can succeed, it won’t kill you, the kids will turn out great, your family will be strong. Now if I can just bottle that message and get a whiff once a month or so, I’ll be fine!

Then I had to hurry home from the conference to take the kids to their baseball team’s party. This coach, a neighbor and friend of ours, was great. Always encouraging, always displaying and teaching good sportsmanship, always pushing but not too hard – I wish all my kids’ coaches could be like him. It’s no wonder the team only lost one game. It’s not that we had the best hitters or that the coach put the strongest players at the key positions: we didn’t, and he didn’t. He just pulled from each kid the best effort they had and managed to get 7 to 9 year olds to cooperate as a team. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

The party was fun with a kids vs. adults (and teens) pickup game, hotdogs and chips, and trophies. {On the way there, Fritz, with a concerned tone, asked if I was going to play…you know, since I was pregnant and all. I assured him that I would not, knowing that chasing Petey would be enough for me, and thinking it was a good thing I had a toddler to watch since otherwise I probably would have been fool enough to join in.} By the time their later than usual bedtime came around, I was sapped. This weekend will be busy with the Scout Pack camping out tonight, and the boys crossing over to the next level.

Monday is Bill’s last day of work.

The movers come in 18 days.

That to-do list does not have enough things crossed off.

9 thoughts on “A Recap of the Week

  1. Your comments about the hellos and goodbyes of military life are SO RIGHT ON TARGET!! It is hard to explain to friends and family who stay in place how our life goes and you said it perfectly. “If we see each other again, we’ll pick up where we left off”….so true. And also true that we may never cross paths again. I’ll be sending you prayers of peacefullness and productivity so that your to do list can get tackled. Can I say again, how I am NOT looking forward to doing the same thing in the fall for our crew??? ~sigh~

  2. The to-do list is NEVER done before the movers arrive. Once, they packed my kitchen trash can FULL OF TRASH when I wasn’t looking. Good luck!

  3. Oh, so YOU’RE the one they always warn about…you know, “a friend of a friend had their garbage packed up…” At our last house, I put all our toiletries, pajamas, and other essentials in a hall closet with a big note on the door saying DO NOT PACK. When I went back a few hours later to retrieve it, it was gone. That was inconvenient.Here, we have a big upstairs closet in the hallway, and we thought we’d put the dog crate in there (with the dog in it) to keep her out of the way. We also think we’ll put all the stuff we <>don’t<> want packed in there too: coffee maker, toiletries, pajamas, sleeping bags. We had a good laugh over the thought of a mover disregarding the DO NOT PACK sign and opening the door to a confused, wound-up, overprotective German Shepherd chomping at the bit to defend her family.

  4. Yes, I’m the one. And when it arrived Germany eight months later…well, it wasn’t very pretty!

  5. Michelle-I had a fabulous time the other day. I often wonder what God’s plan is when He brings people into our world for just a short time. I am thankful he brought you into mine-along with your baked ziti and your TO DIE FOR cranberry walnut bread. Please email me the recipe for it as I have eaten the entire thing and I want more!

  6. Actually, it happened to my grandfather too, on a move from Hawaii to Long Beach. It was pretty yucky when they unpacked!It will all get done, you will not go mad, and the children will all be cheerful and helpful. (At least that can be my prayer for your move!)

  7. May God bless you and give you peace.

  8. I think it’s admirable, Michelle, that you can be so uplifting about one of the great difficulties in military life. I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to get really bummed about that. You have a great attitude.

  9. I agree, you do have a terrific attitude about the changes involved in military life. Your husband must adore you!

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