It’s silly, really.
Drew was in the Army Reserves for 12 years and in that time we were apart a significant amount of time. I know I’ve done this math before, but I don’t remember, so bear with me. Including basic and AIT, which was just before we got married in 1999-2000, his deployment to Iraq in 03-04 and then his time at Ft. Hood & Ft. Sill in 08-10… we spent 48 months, or 4 full years, of that 12 years apart. Sometimes we were lucky enough to see each other every week or two and when he was in Iraq we didn’t see each other for months at a time.
My point? I know all of this and I still don’t like him being gone. This is the silly part… he’s on a 4 day trip to Toronto of which we are only 24 hours in, and I don’t like it. I didn’t sleep well last night, it took me forever to fall asleep. Of course, since I didn’t sleep great, Alex was up early this morning. I swear it took an act of God to open my eyes this morning and I can’t quit yawning even now.
When Drew finished his service in the Reserves and we were facing the facts of what the future with Alex & Emma would be, we questioned whether we would be that couple that didn’t mind being apart or if we would be that couple that couldn’t stand it. It’s not like I can’t go to the grocery store alone or he can’t go fishing for the day, but when it comes to nights spent apart… neither of us likes it. I guess that answers our question. We don’t like to be apart.
Alex has quite the attitude about it. She always asks me about Daddy during the day and gets excited when I tell her how many hours until he is home. Yesterday she asked me where he was a million times and I just told her he was on a work trip and would be home in a few days. Her response? “That’s mad!” I guess I was a little surprised since her response to something she doesn’t like is usually “That’s a bummer!” She sort of looked at me like she couldn’t believe I had the nerve to say such a thing. Can you say Daddy’s Girl?
This morning she hadn’t been up for 10 minutes before she asked me “Where’s Daddy?” Instead of answering her, I just said, “You know where he is. He will be home, not tomorrow but the next day.” This time she didn’t even bother with her computer, she just waved her arms and grunted. I figured I would help her out a little and said, “I know, it sucks.” She immediately grunted, “Yeah!”
As for Daddy, he’s not overly impressed with Toronto. I think the city has much to offer, but the weather doesn’t thrill him. Last time he was there it snowed buckets and this time it is raining. Don’t tell Drew, but I’m pretty sure I’m pulling him over to the sunny side! Let me make a prediction for future Drew & Mandy… 1) We will stay in Northwest Arkansas and travel to sunny places as often as possible. 2) We will move to a new opportunity, wherever it may be, and travel to sunny places as much as possible. 3) We will seek and find an opportunity in the sunshine!
Hum, sunshine. It’s warm here this week, in the 90’s, and Alex & I are itching for a swim. If I go a couple of hours without picking Alex up then I create this illusion that I could totally get in and out of the pool while holding her. Then… I pick her up for some reason and quickly realize that there is absolutely no way. I was telling Drew this and he finally said, “I’m just going to go ahead and say that you are not allowed to even try.” That’s sort of funny, since I’ve never been much for anyone who “allows” me to do anything. I’m a bit independent, if you haven’t picked up on that. I’ll let him lay down the law on this one though, because he is absolutely right. If I were to try and get Alex into the pool by myself then there is a good chance that Drew would come home Thursday night and find us both stranded in a pool that we couldn't get out of.
This reality gave me an idea… kiddie pool. I thought that maybe we could get a small kiddie pool to put on the front patio, like we had when the girls were little. It’s not a big girl pool, but it would be a safe way for me to help Alex play in the water when no one else is here. I was feeling sort of cool for thinking of this, but then I asked Alex.
She’s not having anything to do with a baby pool. I even tried to talk her into it again last night and she wasn’t going to give in. No baby pool.
Alex and I went to Dad’s last night to visit and have dinner. There were two reasons for this. 1) I wanted to. 2) I’m trying to be aware.
Aware? For a good while I was the only one in Siloam to help Grandpa on a regular basis. Dad talked to Grandpa twice a day, but wasn’t next door to see him every day. I was the one checking in on him, taking him shopping, running errands, etc. Over the last year it has become more difficult for me to care for Alex and visit Grandpa, so I’m super thankful to know that Grandpa is safe with Dad. What I’m trying to say is… I know that it is hard to be the go-to person. What I’m realizing now is how easy it is to let the go-to person take care of everything and just check in now and then. I won’t do that. I will not. Plus, I sort of like hanging out with those fellas :-)