And it officially stinks.
Josh flew out this morning.
I'm hoping that homeschooling, traveling, and the holidays will make the time fly until we get him back.
Monday night the kids helped Josh make the final preparations.
I'm not sure why the guys all feel it necessary to shave their heads and grow a mustache when they deploy.
Or in my husband's case, a pedostache.
(Also known as Chester)
But in any case, we have an agreement that hair on the head will be regrown and hair on the upper lip removed prior to our reunion.
So. Last night.
Josh had to take a sleeping pill and be in bed in the early evening to be ready for a 3am showtime.
This of course meant that I would be putting the kids to bed on my own.
No problem, I do it all the time.
Plus, if I were rusty at all, it would be a good time to get into a rhythm.
Unless they figure out how to put themselves to bed in the very near future, I'm kind of stuck with it for the next 180-ish nights.
But it turned out to be far more difficult than I could have imagined.
Derek went down easily like he always does.
But my poor baby girl. She laid in bed and just sobbed. She didn't want her daddy to leave and there wasn't a thing I could do for her.
I held her and let her cry.
Cried with her.
It was just one of those moments as a parent when you just don't know the right thing to do or say.
She wanted nothing to do with the reasons and justifications of why he must go.
And that's okay. At age six you can afford to be a little selfish from time to time.
The storm eventually passed and I know that we will get into a routine and she will be fine in the months to come. It was just a rough moment, and I'm glad for his sake that Josh was asleep.
This morning we all dragged out of bed and were out the door by 0250.
Mama no like.
When we got to the squadron we prayed together in the back of the van and had our more extended goodbyes.
Then Josh went in to brief for the flight.
We got one last hug as he was stepping to the jet.
Mmmm. I think I've made it clear that my man in a flight suit just does something for me.
But add a G-suit and harness, and, well...
I'm thinking I need to channel that energy elsewhere for the next 6 months.
Quick, Josh! Grow the mustache! The feelings will dissipate.
Then the families jumped on a crew bus and headed to the end of the runway to watch the jets take off.
Here is Josh's jet in the chalks.
There he goes! (That's him in the front seat.)
And here's a poor quality video of his takeoff, which resembles more of a ball of light going up into the sky.
It was around 6am when we got home, so we all headed back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.
I plan to indulge in a day or two of moping before moving on.
He has shoes in the shoe bin and clothes in the laundry. Once I clean his sink, it will be clean for a long time. Reminders everywhere that part of our family is missing.
But I am so thankful for the internet and the ability to communicate in a way that was unheard of in years past. I'm not sure exactly when we'll hear from him, but once he gets settled we should be able to Skype.
I joked before he left that the day he flew out I would indulge in a whole container of Oreo cookies-- eating just the "stuff", because that's the best part.
So as he was stepping to the jet, my thoughtful husband handed me this baggie.
Love him! He did all the work :)
Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes on my last post, and leading up to this deployment! It really means a lot to have your support and prayers. Thanks for walking this road alongside me.
If anyone is interested in sending Josh a note in the mail, just let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you his deployed address.
Also, I will do my best to bring back the happy because this place has been crazy depressing as of late. ;)