Monday, March 7, 2011

Things are changing.

Last week the squadron had a pre-deployment brief for the wives, where different agencies from base came to talk to us about what we needed to do before the guys leave and what services are available to us while they’re gone.  There was a lady there from family advocacy who said that children as young as a year old can sense upcoming changes.  I agree with here there, but she also said that kids don’t have “object constancy” until they’re 3-3.5 years old.  She said that with kids under 3, it’s “out of sight, out of mind” sort of thing and if a ball rolls under a table, a young child just thinks it doesn’t exist anymore….  And that’s where I call B.S.  Every single morning, when I go in to get Abbie she asks for her daddy.  She’s been doing this for a few months, at least.  I guess I’ve said “daddy’s at work” more often than not, because now she asks “Daddy at work?”.  She can’t see him, but she knows he still exists, and she’s 21 months old.  She asks about her uncle Ryan all the time, and she’s seen him maybe 5-6 times her whole life.  But she still asks for him, and now she’ll say “Uncle Ryan in Rome?” because I’ve told her numerous times that he is in Rome (where he’s in school).  So to say that they’re 3.5 before they realize that things are missing is complete BS in my mind.  Maybe that’s the case for others, but that’s not at all the case for us.
Mark has been working LONG hours lately.  He’s been going in to work before 6am, and often times doesn’t get home until after 7:30pm.  Abbie knows something is up, and we can both see that she is pulling herself away from Mark.  There have been MANY times in the past week where she hasn’t wanted Mark anywhere near her.  She often takes things from him and hands them to me and says “No daddy.  Mommy do it.”  I think she can sense that something is up and this is her way of acting out.  She doesn’t completely reject him, but lately she’s been doing it MUCH more than she has previously.
I have mixed emotions about this deployment.  It will be our first, so I don’t have any previous experience.  Part of me, obviously, is scared to death that something will happen to him and I’ll say goodbye to him and that’ll be the last time I ever see him.  I am a professional worrier, and I put my skills to good use, especially when it concerns my husband or my daughter.  I think if I could somehow be reassured that Mark would come back safe and sound, I would be much more okay with the deployment.  But since life never gives us those sorts of guarantees, I’ll just have to learn to keep my worrying in check and pray for the best.
Another part of me is VERY excited about going back to the States while Mark is gone.  But I feel guilt for feeling excited.  Mark wants me to go home for the entire time so he doesn’t have to worry about me being by myself with Abbie here in Italy.  He wants me to travel and have a good time, and I am so thankful that I have a supportive husband.  His only request is that we don’t take Abbie to Disneyworld without him, which is something I wouldn’t dream of doing without him anyway.  I am so excited to see friends and family that I haven’t gotten to spend any real time with since I got married 5 years ago.  My parents and I are planning on taking a few trips out east and out west.  I’m hoping to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in years.  I’m looking forward to spending lots of time with friends that are close to my hometown.  I’m going to try to take Abbie to some “mommy and me” classes and story times at the library and maybe swimming, if I am brave enough (to be seen in a swimming suit in public).  I might try to take a photography class or two at the local community college.  I have lots of plans to try and make the time away from Mark go by quickly.
We’ll get through this deployment, and we’ll come out stronger on the other side.  I know that.  But the anticipation of what’s to come is the worst.  I just want to get the “goodbye” over with so I can start looking forward to the “welcome home”.


Damsel said...

I totally agree with you about object permanence and her age!! They get that waaaaay before 3 years old...

And your last sentence really resonates with me. We haven't been through a deployment, but my DH joined late in life. We had a 3 year old and another on the way when he left for BCT, and I spent the last two weeks ready for him to just GO, already. I was ready to get the first few weeks over with - establish a routine, deal with our son's meltdowns about daddy not being there, etc, etc. The sooner we said goodbye, the sooner we could say hello again. It sounds awful to say that you are ready for him to just get gone, but it's totally normal. You are not alone!

Jessica Lynn said...

This post broke my heart. We don't have children yet, but I can only imagine what it will be like when we do and when my husband deploys. How long will your husband be gone? Selfish me hopes you'll be there when we get to Italy in September!

I know it'll probably suck when he leaves and your daughter constantly asks for him, but what a blessing that her memory is that sharp and she already knows and remembers who her dad is that she loves so much!

Elsbit said...

I disagree with her as well. My in-laws had two dogs. One of them died at least 6 months ago. Eliana STILL asks about that dog when we go over there. She wasn't even 2 when the dog died but she sure as hell remembers her! And I can guarantee that she would KNOW if her daddy wasn't there. When Jeff goes on work trips (nothing compared to military absences) she is sure to ask where he is. It is a great thing that you take lots of pictures! Will he be able to skype or is that a military no no?
And I cannot remember when his deployment is supposed to start (tentatively I know). When?

LEWilliams said...

I TOTALLY feel your pain. The first time Brandon deployed I just wanted him to leave to get the goodbye over with. I really didn't want him to go, and the thought of him leaving was so scary. I just kept thinking if he leaves, I can just get in a routine and go about life. I found that once he left, I was numb about two weeks and then I picked myself up and moved forward. I am thinking of you and Mark and will be in your shoes in another month. Deployments with children and a new game to us as well.

Em said...

Yeah, I'm going to echo the comments of your previous posters and say that kids learn object permanence way before 3.5 years old.

Also, you're coming to the pool with me.

Fledgling Techie said...

My boys were 7 weeks old and 19 months old when my husband left for a year-long remote in Korea, and the older one constantly asked for daddy. So I completely agree with your call on that B.S.

I was going to offer advice for being alone in Italy while he was deployed, but it seems it's unnecessary! LOL Just be aware, though, that if you are gone for more than 60 days, you guys will lose your COLA...(That's the main reason I didn't go back to the States while my DH was deployed.) I hope you have an amazing time visiting your friends and family!

Anonymous said...

here here! Get the goodbye over with already and let's get to the welcome home! You know that you can call if you ever need to talk.....