Today is a better day than yesterday. The goodbye part is always the worst.

Yesterday, a woman signing and dating something for me said, “July 1st! It’ll be Christmas before you know it!”

I replied, I hope so!”

I am happily looking forward to December. I re-read Bill’s orders last night, and joyfully discovered I’d misunderstood them originally. I thought he was supposed to head for the States by a certain date, but actually, he’s supposed to be in the States by a certain date. That makes a difference of 2 or 3 days which is a really big deal to me. It also means he has a slim, but possible chance, of being home on Christmas Day. Can you guess what will top my Santa wish list this year?
I took this picture of Bill and the kids before his ride came.

And then there’s this rare shot of me and the kids. Normally I’m the photographer. My husband doesn’t love me enough to photograph me regularly. I have to beg.

I filled a pretzel container from BJs with peanut butter cups. One per kid per day first thing in the morning, and when they’re gone, Dad will be home. Don’t tell the kids, but the jug is a tad small, so I’ll be sneaking in a few pieces a day for the next month. I wanted to use Hershey Kisses, but BJs didn’t have any. They are a little smaller and might have worked. I opted out of hard candy because of the baby. Peppermints would have fit. If you consider doing something like this, I think a good estimate is that the jug would hold enough candy for 2 1/2 – 3 years worth of days. That’s one piece per day. Since I need 6 pieces per day (one for each kid) and Bill will be gone for 6 months, I needed something to hold three years worth. My larger pieces put me closer to the low end, but I’ll finagle it. I’d have to be prepared to adjust anyway. It is better to have too much candy than too little. No kid will argue that Dad can’t come home until next week because there’s still candy left.

Katie has been busy making a countdown chain. She had wanted to make a countup chain, but that is 1) depressing and 2) cluttering. I had her date the links so I won’t have to worry about running out. Again, if December has a few links left and Dad comes home early, she won’t be upset in the least.

By the time Bill left yesterday, it was after 5 pm. We were all a little upset. Go figure. I had planned to order some pizza, but that meant we’d all sit around moaning for an hour until it got there. Instead, I loaded everybody up and we went to the pizza joint and ate there. The distraction helped, but now I’m wondering if it was such a good idea. Hey kids, I know you’re sad, let’s just go get some pizza and we’ll all feel better. Then we’ll come home and eat the leftover cake from Petey’s birthday and you can have extra ice cream. Just stop crying, okay? They will already be scarred for life by being abandoned by their father for 6 months, and I’ve made things worse by planting the seeds that will germinate into an emotional eating disorder. Great parenting, eh?
Normal, healthy eating to resume in 6 months.

13 thoughts on “Coping

  1. Hey Friend! I've been praying for you!

    I hope Bill's trip goes well. I know you'll all miss him, but it seems like you have all the coping mechanisms in place–pizza and chocolate cure all, right?

  2. I wouldn't worry about one night of food indulgences. That first night has to be very very hard. I'll be praying for all of you.

  3. You've made this postpartum hormonal sap of a woman cry (again).

    You're in my prayers.

  4. You're on my mind and in my prayers today. I doubt your kids will get an eating disorder from one (or two…or three…) nights of indulging. God bless you all.

  5. Keeping you in my prayers. Chins up — everybody! And chocolate helps.

  6. Hang in there. I'll be praying for you.

  7. Michelle,
    What a great idea to count down with chocolate. I';m afraid if I was in your position I would eat throught that container in a week or so!

    Know that you and your dh are in my prayers!! I'll be praying for him especially this Saturday.

  8. Hopefully the next 6 months go by quickly, though it won't be quick enough. Let me know what days are needed for camping and fencing. I'll request the days off of work.

  9. The chocolate countdown is an awesome idea. Prayers that all will go smoothly and speedily!

  10. …or you'll never look at pizza the same again…

    We tend to go bowling before seperations…for whatever reason. Started back in college day seperations and we seem drawn to it just before deployments too. So then you've got to go bolwing (or in your case, eat lots of pizza) often during non sad times so you don't associate the fun with the sad anymore.

  11. Praying for all of you! Thank you all for the sacrifices you continue to make!

  12. I just jumped over from Barbara's blog … I will keep you, your husband and your children in my prayers! God bless all of you!

  13. Hi,
    I, too, jumped over from scmom's blog.
    I've been in your shoes, and it does get easier. (Although I only had four at the time dh left, and he was gone for 9 months the first time. Yes, he missed Christmas that year, but we just celebrated Christ's birth again in March when Daddy returned safe and sound.)

    Your children will not be scarred for life by your dh's 6 month deployment IF you handle it correctly. You've got to be strong. It will be tough at times (it gets easier as the days pass) but call on your friends to help you through. And remember to pray, pray, pray!

    Your kids will grow stronger for this – and a grateful nation thanks you.

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