I don't know if I can do this. I say it all the time and people think it's a joke. I've done this before, two deployments down, one coming up sooner than I ever expected. Where did the time go? It seems like only last week I assured him that early 2017 was a great time for a deployment. It meant he'd be home for almost a year. Not straight, of course but a few weeks gone, here and there is nothing.
I am a pro by now, that's what I appears. We've never done this with kids though. We were only engaged the last time he deployed. Our five year wedding anniversary was last week. It's been more than five years. I repeat the mantra to myself, the same thing I tell the newbies on their first deployment "keep busy, don't think about it, don't focus on it, go on with your life, send E-mails and packages when you can, don't stress over making them fancy or perfect, he doesn't care. Do your own thing, enjoy your independence. The first few weeks seem normal, you're used to that, the next few weeks are hard and then you find your new normal. By the time he comes home, deployment is the normal." I know it becomes normal. I know we will find a way, but I'm still scared.
I have to keep going though. I have to laugh when I say I may not make it because he can't see my fear. I have to be the strong one. If I am afraid, he is afraid. I have to handle things on my own now. I can't tell him when we have a problem. Fix it first, E-mail him when it's fixed. That's our deployment strategy. That's how he gets by. He can't be left to worry about things he can do nothing about.
It's the kids though that scare me the most. Nora acts out when he is gone. She is only three, she doesn't get it. She is a daddy's girl, she looks just like him. She needs her daddy and she doesn't know why he leaves so much. "I miss Daddy" I repeat to her often. I want her to think of him. I want her to know she is not alone. She and I are in this together. I am his girl too, after all. She gets me. She is my best friend. We fight like cats and dogs but at the end of the day, I stay strong for her. Tristan, he has always been more attached to me. He may not even notice Daddy is gone at all. By the time my husband returns our son will have almost doubled in age. Over the next several months I will show him videos, and pictures and let him talk on the phone. Still, I am afraid he won't even recognize his father when he returns. Always afraid. Not nearly enough time left. Still, I go on because not doing it isn't an option. I don't know if I can do this, but I have to. Failure is not an option.