It’s so snowy here, and I feel like the snow just won’t stop. I shouldn’t complain because the snow in Iowa is NOTHING compared to the snow we would get in upstate New York, but I don’t have slopes to ski on here. So I’m going to travel back in time and write about a warm sunny day right at the very beginning of this deployment.
Summer. (insert big, happy sigh because Summer is amazing)
We were still getting our bearings as Andre had only left about 6 weeks prior. I was out in the backyard watering our garden with the hose. The kids were quite challenging that day. I had yelled at them a lot more then I would care to admit, and there they were in the backyard fighting over I can’t even remember what and I was just done. DONE! I did what any respectable parent grasping for sanity would do in that moment, and I sprayed them with the hose. They both stopped and looked at me. There I was feeling like such a failure of a mom because the day had taken everything out of me, and now I had just sprayed my kids with the hose because I was so over them fighting. But what happened next is something I have held on to throughout this deployment. Their screaming at each other turned into shrieks of “Do it again mommy! Do it again!!” It truly was so much fun. They fell in the freshly mowed, soaking wet grass so many times, and by the end of it they were sopping wet with a coat of grass covering their bodies. My mom and I had to strip them down in the garage and take them straight to the bathtub. Raina still talks about it, “Remember when you sprayed us with the hose, Mommy? I can’t wait to do that again!” It really is the little things that make the big memories that help pull us out of funks… in my case, the deployment funk. They remind us as parents that when we think we are failing we aren’t. And if you can’t spray them with a hose, just chase them around the house or tackle each other on the floor or use rolled up socks as fake snowballs and have random indoor snowball fights.
It’s 7 months down now (that feels crazy to write!), and love is in the air. We are missing Andre, and we are keeping very busy. We have several things planned for February. Papa (my dad) recently took Raina to the Daddy-Daughter Dance at our church; I’m thinking about getting a hotel room for Valentine’s Day weekend so the kids can go swimming and we can get out of the house; and Joel turns 3!!
Looking ahead, so many things are still very much up in the air about GeoBaching or moving. We are still of the mindset that we will GeoBach, however the position that Andre was supposed to be taking over in September, which was located in North Chicago, has been cut. So now we are back in the same boat of having no idea where he/we will be going, but as we had originally said, Joel’s health and treatments come first, and we won’t jeopardize his place on the waitlist for his Peanut Oral Immunotherapy. I have spent many late nights researching this treatment and if anything comes from it all, perhaps one day I can help someone else going through the same issue. We are also in the process of completing paper work for the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) which could possibly open some doors of opportunity for staying together as a family AND getting Joel the treatment he needs. We just recently learned that asthma and food allergies fall under EFMP. More to come on that topic as I/we learn more.
I’ve also spent a good chunk of time lately getting the kids signed up for Summer camps… maybe that’s why I’m dreaming about warm weather days. I don’t know about you, but I have some wicked Spring fever. Planning prep for our garden is already well under way! Oh, the little things. They get me through.