January 14, 2011

White Flag pt. 3

(This is when Sarah moves to second person, and she's not quite sure why...)

So. You starts to feel like life might be normal. You dust off your pants. You talk to your husband about the next year. You stay up late night after night...packing with him. You both feel like you have stones in your stomachs. The dread of the initial separation wears. you. ragged. You put up a fence with the help of neighbors. You stay up all night with your children lying all around you. You try not to shut down during your last hours together. But...if you don't shut down, every feeling you've avoided during the past few months leading up to the deployment. Every one will hit you at once. Like an anvil. Every ounce of fear and sadness will just be squished out of you anyway. So...you let go and get squished by that twelve-thousand-pound deployment anvil. You finally say goodbye. On the way home, you listen to your sons cry in a way you've never heard them cry before. You lie flat as a pancake for 24 hours; because that's what anvils do. For the next couple weeks get used to sleeping alone. You still look around for him every night...wanting to fill him in on everything your children did that day. But, hey-O! Life starts lookin' up...

you think you can do this.

You make lesson plans for your kids. You wipe noses. Change peed sheets. Lecture. Hug. Catch toads. Go to church. Skip church because of sickos. Are late to church because of one freakin' left shoe! Wrestle with rowdy kids. Rock tired ones. Brush teeth. Stare into the fridge. Hang out with friends that make you positive there ARE angels here on earth. Answer questions that hurt your brain. Talk on the phone with family.  Get cranky every night...even though you say you won't. Relish the silence after they're asleep. Stay up too late.  Wait for his calls. Wash dirty clothes...but never seem to make the time to fold and put away clean ones. The kids ask to watch the videos of dad. Over and over and over again. It melts your heart that your daughter knows who her daddy is. But when she signs, "dad" and points to the computer every day. That makes you sad. You and her are slowly are building a bond...but you're building it. And, sometimes you don't have the right tools. Sometimes she doesn't. It's awkward. It's slow. However, even if the feeling doesn't remind you of puppy dogs and ice cream; you are convinced more and more that this is love.  That it's right. That your life is good. You, "...set your eyes on the prize." Which would be providing this child a loving, stable, joyful home. A connection to someone who loves her without conditions. You stop looking back so constantly. The beauty is actually in all the ugly, frustrated, sad, lonely...feelings. The beauty is in doing things so hard. Even though you forget to see them as much; there are plenty of awesome, loving, tender, peaceful, and joyful moments. You notice that the older boys need their dad. They need their hero. You notice that your daughters need their dad, too. They need to light up his eyes. You notice that your three year old is absolutely crazy...and you're not sure what to do about that. ha.

You feel like you are spread so thin that smiles are stiff and slow. The house is always a mess. Always. Your ability to rage and lose your temper has grown in leaps and bounds. Love starts to feel like a commodity that DOES have a limited supply.

The moments that you let go. Laugh. Or, when you ask for forgiveness. Their small, sticky hands around your neck, or their little-man -awkward hugs around your waist... those moments let you know you're still good.

(In case you are wondering what it looks like to go through adoption, or deployments and stuff. These illustrations made sense.)

(Except this one...I just thought it was funny.)

White Flag pt. 4


  1. So, I'm sure this would be better put in an email, but I'm thinking about it now because here I am reading your blog. :) We would love to have you and the kids come up and hang with us for awhile! I'd love just to chat over coffee all morning/day and let the kids run like crazy through the house. Seriously! :)


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