We’re one full month into deployment number two and to be honest…
It’s been a lot easier than I thought. (I’ve probably jinxed myself now, but oh well.)
The first 3 weeks were spent in California, just me and little Ev. I can’t say it was the easiest thing, doing the mom thing all by myself, but it definitely could’ve been harder. I survived the first bout of cluster feeding- which, just so you know, felt like it would never end. I think that was the hardest part, the continuous nursing and never sleeping and trying really hard not to feel like a terrible mom when he cried because I had to put him down to shower, or eat, or feed the animals and there was no one else to hold him.
But it did end! And my happy baby was back and sleeping well again and my sanity was restored (for now).
Then we got on a plane and flew almost 2,000 miles to Texas, where we’re spending the holidays. I was totally preparing myself to be that tired looking mom with the newborn who screams the whole plane ride while getting a mix of sympathetic and annoyed looks. However, my kiddo slept the entire way basically, and take off and landing didn’t seem to bother him a bit.
We’ve been in Texas for about a week now and are simply enjoying being home. Ev may not have been born here in the greatest state, but he got here as fast as he could 😉
It’s nice to be back in our little town, but it’s strange to see all the changes. There wasn’t a restaurant there when I left almost 2 years ago, and that store stands where there used to be an empty lot. I find myself having to plug addresses into my GPS because I’ve forgotten which exit to take, or making a few wrong turns before remembering which street I actually need to get to.
But while my town is different, and I don’t have a key to the front door anymore, and my old room has become a guest room, there’s still that overwhelming sense of “ah, home.”
It’s nice to feel at home again, even if it’s just a short while. I’ve got a house in California, but without my husband in it, it doesn’t always feel like home. Home is wherever he is, and right now, he’s a little out of reach. So being back in my mom’s house, back in the bedroom I spent my high school years in, back in the town where you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know, it’s a nice feeling. It’s nice to walk into your old nail salon and have them be excited to see you and the new baby, and it’s SO nice to be near an H-E-B, and a Whataburger, and be able to pick up a pint of Bluebell.
Ev is almost 2 months old now and there’s such a strange feeling when you look at his age in days. Currently he’s 52 days old, and that’s such a short time. I’m amazed at how young he is and how he’s only been on the outside for just 7+ weeks, and yet I feel like he’s always been here.
Isn’t it awesome how God knows what you need before you do?
After last November, I didn’t think I needed or wanted a baby. Not then, anyway. And now, I don’t know what I’d be doing without him. He’s the best distraction from lonely nights, and his grin or the way he tries to talk makes my heart happy when I’m missing my other half. I don’t know if I’d be handing this deployment as well as I think I am if I didn’t have him.
That being said, I still miss my husband. A lot. It makes me sad that he’s missing so many firsts with Ev, and I worry about what our family dynamic will be like when he comes home.
What I loved most about him right before he left, though, was that while he was figuring out how to be a daddy, he didn’t forget (or let me forget) that he was my husband, either.
He was changing diapers and snuggling with Ev on the couch while I cleaned or showered, and he was still reminding me that we’re more than parents, too. He stopped me in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner one night and kissed me for more than 2 seconds, and when I asked, “what was that for?” (because at 2 weeks postpartum, no kiss is leading anywhere 😂), he looked at me and said, “I just hadn’t kissed you like I loved you a lot in a while.”
I miss him for moments like that, too, because he’s more than just a daddy to Ev; he’s my best friend, my partner in basically everything.
Having a few moments to myself is few and far between right now, and when I find one, like now, while Everett is sleeping, it’s when I have time to be a little sad. Because deployment is sad, and hard, no matter how well you’re handling it or how distracted you are.
And just like I said over a year ago during deployment number one: it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay for me to have bad days every now and then, especially now that I’ve got someone other than my dog depending on me. It’s okay for me to not be able to smile at people one day and then be able to feel like I’m kicking deployment’s ass the next. It’s okay to feel the things I feel, as long as I get up and dust myself off the next day.
So, we’re one month down with several more to go, and here’s hoping that they fly by.