I used to love Fridays, now pretty much hate them. My kids are in bed and I'm sitting with a large glass of Pinot Grigio, Housewives New York cued up, and my knitting on deck. I've turned into a bit of a Romona Singer lately with the Pinot obsession. She starts demanding it at any social event, I start pouring the moment my kids are in bed. Barefoot is my go-to brand. It's cheap, accessible, and not too class-less in taste.
Friday is weekend eve. For this family without a daddy, weekends suck a big one. A big part of deployment exhaustion is figuring out what we are going to do EVERY DAY. Balancing enough social time, trying not to burn out, but not too much laid back time to allow the lonely to take over. It's a very fine balance. Finding this balance is exhausting. The weekends prove to be the most challenging. Fortunately I am very lucky and blessed to have friends worth their salt in the friendship category. The kind of pals Hallmark pens their sappy cards about. Generous isn't even the word and the invitation is always present for our trio to join in. Even this is lonely. Sometimes returning home from a gathering with a sea full of daddies just makes the absence more profound and obvious. I love my friends and am beyond grateful for the support and socializing that keeps all of us sane. In a perfect world I would want Rob along with us. We miss him, it is that simple. We miss him when it is just us, we miss him amongst others, we miss him on the weekends, we miss him in the afternoon, skinnamarinky dinky dink, skinnamarinky do...
The wise, fabulous Carrie Bradshaw once remarked, "...the loneliness is palpable." (Depending on the which season, she could have been referring to Big, or Aiden, or a slew of any other tortured actor/musician/poet creative types that paraded through her bed). This must have struck a chord with me because I have always remembered this quote and for the moment rings my truth. The loneliness is palpable. The deployment vacuum that sucked out Rob's presence left a big, persistent pile of lonely in it's wake. No matter the distractions or the fun or all the busy living we are doing, it's always there. Sometimes big, sometimes small, always present. This family has a constant ache for it's missing member.
This deployment, however, is not getting the better of us. We are actually kicking ass and using potties lately. The exhaustion is part of the whole picture. This is a marathon and the hills are part of the terrain. Adrenaline, caffeine, & alcohol are key ingredients that keep me going. Feel free to judge after your first week on this course. Regardless if I'm dragging ass or not, I put on my super-mom cape every morning and give it my best each day. If this ends up a topic on their therapists' couch, at least my children can't claim I didn't try.
The single, solitary reason I am able to do this is because I love my job. The hours are brutal and going it alone requires more push than one might fathom. There is no doubt that I was meant to be this mother. This mother, right here, with these two babies. I may miss my husband, their father, our leader, my friend, but I have also learned to be enough. Someday I hope they will realize I would have moved heaven and earth to be plenty of enough. I love being a mom. I do, I love it. I love being THEIR mom. Sometimes I want to set them out by the curb for recycling with their Toy Story DVDs in the adjoining bin. Other times my heart threatens to explode with all the goodness journey du motherhood brings. My cup overflows, it may be overflowing sticky, messy apple juice or the like, but it is so very very worth it.