Monday, August 20, 2012

A few days..

"These guys have the most dangerous job in Afghanistan."  Not the words an Army wife wants to hear. Chills ran through my body as I gripped his hand a little tighter and whispered, "I am so proud of you." My tears were hidden by sunglasses. He tells me I need to be strong. I need to show no fear because we are an example; an example for the first timers, the mothers and fathers, the wives and girlfriends ... He has earned the position to lead, and with that comes the biggest responsibility; the responsibility to bring these soldiers home.

The few months leading up to deployment we filled the DVR with Bomb Patrol Afghanistan. This was going to be a true and honest depiction of what we were facing.  We snuggled up to watch what we recorded as if it were a movie we were dying to see; when in fact it was our reality.  As we continued to watch, BW would explain to me what was happening. He would often use words and abbreviations that I was not familiar with.  I knew he was doing this to give himself a peace of mind. He needed to prove to himself that the training paid off; that he knew what he was doing.  It was the kind of reassurance that would ease his mind before a mission. He made sure I knew how safe the vehicles were. He made sure I knew that these missions could take days. He made sure I knew that he knew everything.  I listened to every word. 

While BW paid close attention to the logistics of each mission, I watched other things. How long are they gone for?  Were there snacks in the Truck? Is anyone talking on a cell phone? What do the sleeping quarters look like? Will he have a pillow? There is nothing safe about what he does. There is no denying that, but knowing that when he kicks off his boots and lays his head down at the end of his day it is comfortable...that's the kind of reassurance that I need. 

He says he's tired; I know that means he hasn't slept in 3 days. He says its hot; I know that means the dust storms are blinding. He says he sleeps in a bunk; I know that they are on top of one another.  He says he paid for internet; I know that it cost a small fortune. He says everything is okay; I know that means everything is tolerable. Even from 1000s of miles away he keeps me safe. He keeps my mind safe. 

We spoke today. He said he'll talk to me in a few days. I've seen the show. I know what that means.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


When we found out there would be a 4 day pass while BW was training in El Paso, Texas there was never a question of whether or not we'd see each other. I was getting to Texas one way or another; even if that meant strapping Little O in a carseat and driving. (This really is not true- she's a devil in the car; horns and everything...I might as well drive straight to the looney bin). I'd have to fly. Don't get me wrong- you can't put a price on love but SWEET JESUS it's expensive to fly to El Paso. They must have good salsa.

We decided to keep the Little O at home; as much as BW wanted to see her, we both knew that there wasn't a chance she'd let him hold her... and to be completely honest here, Mama needed a vacation.

When I first arrived in Texas I hopped in my rental car, fired up the GPS... and immediately started cursing BW's name.  In my (sheltered) opinion I don't think El Paso is good for anything other then an efficient military training facility and maybe sweet, extra large margaritas (reference photo).  However, the whole point of my trip never slipped my mind and I could not WAIT to see my solider, for it had been a long 2 months. I will suck it up and just laugh (cry) when I enter the 'Exit Only' lane into Juaraz, Mexico....for the 3rd time.

'Reuniiiited and it feeeels soo goooood.'  It was like a scene from a movie. You know, like that scene when the guy comes running up to his girl, scoops her up, spins her around, and they make out passionately? Minus the scoop and the make out. We did hold each other for a long time, looking at each other longingly just to simply remember what one another looked like.  He had to spend the night on Base so we had to spend the night apart. What's one more night when you've had several. Right? In an exhausted, emotional wreck of a stuper, I went back to the hotel room, got in bed, looked at the clock...6:30pm.  DAMN YOU 2 hour time change.

We wanted to be normal; pretend there wasn't a clock ticking. I was extremely emotional the entire trip. All I wanted was to lay in bed. I thought this was the only thing that would make time stand still. Every time he would suggest doing something, I'd have a breakdown and didn't have the exact words to tell him how I felt. If I tried to explain it it sounded selfish and just bizarre; like I was being some antisocial, obsessive, possessive crazy lady. And?  I didn't want him talking to anyone but me. I wanted every single moment of his time. Every breath.  I didn't even want to waste time taking photos (the only one I took is the one above). I may have shed enough tears to get him to stay in bed, watch a movie and drink Skinny Girl margaritas.

Well, needless to say, time does not stand still...So eventually the day came.  For most of the trip I kept thinking and dreading the moment I had to bring him back on Base, drop off the rental car, and walk into the airport alone. I imagined a sobbing disaster of a person trying to function through an airport. All of that never happened..okay, maybe the sobbing part did. BW came to the airport with me and took a cab back to Base. Hero anyone?  We sat at the airport bar and had a cocktail (while I cried...and cried..and cried). I need to mention something that is a bit strange.I've always had this weird emotional thing about soldiers. They get me. Even before I found my own, I had one serious soft spot. Sometimes seeing random soldiers say goodbye to their loved ones hits me harder emotionally then saying goodbye to my own solider. I always try to imagine their story. And if the girl is pregnant...forget it! Cry Fest 2012. With that being said, our view from the airport bar was of the spot that people say their goodbyes. We had front row. There was one soldier who watched his expecting girlfriend go up the escalator to Security checkpoint...and watched... and watched... he must of stood there for 30 minutes.  We both knew she was no longer in sight. Walking away makes it final.

"Don't watch me go up that escalator. Just turn around and go." I told him.  That is exactly what he did. I didn't turn back either.  I held back from an emotional breakdown my ENTIRE trip home. I am pretty sure I looked like a complete crazy person with a constant quivering lip, and clutching tissues so hard that my knuckles were white. He texted. He called. I couldn't function. I was sick to my stomach. This was it... There was no turning back. We both have no idea what is about to happen. We don't know how this story will end. We trust his training. When you're married to a solider you have the kind of conversations that are unthinkable to most young couples but its the reality of the situation. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best, he tells me. All we can do is love strong and pray hard.

I can't stand that for months we haven't been able to start our 9 months. "Not til my boots are In Country" He always told me that no matter what they can't keep him for more then 400 days... 400 days!? Lord give me the strength, grant me the serenity....

We spoke last night... 351.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nature's paternity test...

O might grow up confused into thinking her name is Bobby. I probably should save her the identity crisis and start calling her by her real name. Not to mention her imaginary, not in existence yet, Baby Brother's name will be BW Junior. I can see it now; the two of them in therapy together.

It's hard not to curse his name when she fusses, and to blame him for when she is moody. How about the truck driver farts? Those have DaDa written all over them. Its like the high heavens knew about deployment so decided to deliver me a mini BW that would remind me of his presence each day. She is my little angel; my little BW.. Who sometimes goes by 'BW OW' or better yet 'Baby Bobby.'

Aside from being blessed (uh huh)with his good looks, I hope for her she acquires his loving heart, generosity and motivation. Lord knows that motivation gene doesn't come from her Mama.

BW always immediately clicks with new fathers; I always laugh when I hear him in his macho tone talking about 'nature's paternity test' and that a baby will often resemble its father so the father will instinctively stick around...Sometimes the crowd laughs, sometimes the Dad looks at their baby panic stricken hoping to see a similar dimple or scowl.

My last effort was to rummage through some old baby photos of myself and hope so see similarities. Nope. Nada. Nothing. Wait, hold on...damnit. If it weren't for the fact I carried her for 9...shoot, 10 months, then I wouldn't even be sure she's mine.

We do know one thing Little Miss BW.. There will never be a Maury show, and there will never be an if, and or but..

Hurry up and wait...

I guess its a military motto. They hurry up...and wait. I think a lot of time is spent sitting on buses, waiting in Chow hall lines, waiting on orders, etc..

BW has been training for deployment since little O was born. The timeframes he was gone varied; sometimes weeks and sometimes months. Needless to say, we haven't had a moment of normalcy since..uh, ever. We've been 'hurrying up and waiting' for about 6 months now.

Bittersweet feeling to finally say that he has deployed. Left the states. Boots in Country. Mark your calendars...counting downnnn NOW.

This morning was my first morning waking up to a blank phone. No text message. No 'good morning beautiful.' No message telling me how awesomely wonderful of a Mom I am (you know all those things we want to hear). I laid in bed thinking about this simple fact and the lack of communication that is about to come. Tears welling up. Then I heard it...'gooo goooo gaaaa gaaaa'.. Emotions shut off and I put my Mommy cape on. There is a little lady in the next room who doesn't wait.. not for bottles, not for binkies, not for Daddy and certainly not for Mommy to get her crap together. With every day that passes is another day closer... until then, we will hurry up and wait.