5 days before we celebrate our 6 year anniversary, i find myself up at 6am, driving to the base to drop my husband off for a 7 month deployment.
we spent the last week taking in each other and our little family, doing fun things when we weren't running around trying to get him ready. we ate out almost every meal, since he may be eating anything from MRE's (nasty packaged food that heats itself....which is just wrong) to something unidentifiable. and saturday, we went to six flags for my moms work function.
it was a fun filled day of roller coasters (which we haven't ridden in almost 6 years) and rides with the baby. bella loved most of the rides, and especially loved the playground. of course.
up until last night, it felt like the day he left would never come. i knew it was coming, but for some reason, it didn't seem like it ever would get here.
we got up and drove onto base early this morning. we pulled into the parking lot, the only other cars belonging to the rest of his squadron who were also deployed. as the transport pulled up beside us, i felt this overwhelming sense of sadness.
we have weird goodbyes, usually. the last deployment he went on, i dropped him off at the airport, gave him a hug and a kiss and said goodbye. there are no tears, no prolonged make-out session for the world to see, no long embraces or sniffles. just a simple goodbye, and we part ways. i know he'll be back, and i also look at each deployment as a chance for me to prove how strong i am.
when joel is home, i always default most of the typical "man" chores to him. but when he is gone, i have to do it all. and it's kind of empowering. i mow, and build stuff, and put things together, and fix things.
but this morning was kind of different. this morning, when joel said goodbye to me and bella, and then climbed into the van, bella's lip started to quiver a little. i said, "say bye-bye dada!" and the waterworks started flowing. big crocodile tears just streaming down her cheeks.
45 minutes later, she finally started to slow the tears. but only after i had shed a few of my own.
i'll miss him a lot, for sure. but trying to imagine how bella feels and what she thinks is what really breaks my heart. i don't know how to help her rationalize that her daddy is gone and she only gets to see him on the computer and in pictures. she can see him in video's or through video chat, but he never tucks her into bed, or gives her a bath, or plays on the playground with her. and i know he is coming back soon, but how can i communicate that to her.
bella loves her daddy. sometimes i think she likes him more than she likes me. and that's ok (for now). one day she will know why she is proud of her daddy. and she will be even more so.
for now, she carries her daddy doll around with her everywhere she goes, kisses him goodnight, eats with him (and feeds him...which gets messy, you can imagine), puts bows in his hair, and snuggles up at night with him. and occasionally, she pokes him in the eye.
we miss you!!!