Point in case: tonight. Before Ben left, I told the kids we would try a new restaurant once a week. We talked about making a fun project of it and would keep track of places we went and rate them. Well, my friends, tonight was our first dinner out at a new place...4+months into deployment.
We went to Peter Piper Pizza, which we've heard has great pizza. I was not informed about the mega arcade that is also in it. The kids want to go back every day now.
Our every day life is busy. Just basic chores, a workout, taking the dog for a walk, school, meals and talking with Ben, take up a day. Adding in errands or a play date or extra house projects make the days very full...thus my lack of time to write.
Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed at all the odd things that need to get done, so I make a list. Then, Alison follows suit and makes a list too. Sometimes I wish we could switch lists...
While the days are full, I am so thankful they are. The days fly by and I even oddly find comfort in our school routine. I think we all do.
So here are some thoughts about deployment that I've wanted to blog about.
* I am so thankful that we are homeschooling. It's tough, yes, BUT there have been days that Alison has struggled and needed some time to just talk or some extra snuggles and I am so glad we can put our pencils down for a few minutes and talk about missing daddy. Also, if the kids were in public school, they would rarely be able to talk to daddy, as he calls when school would just be starting for them. I can adjust our time to accommodate when we are able to talk to Ben.
*To go with that, deployment with a 9 year old is a whole new ball game. Younger kids are more physically exhausting as you have to take care of every basic need for them. 9 year old's can do a lot of things themselves, but now have lots of emotions they don't know how to sort through. Alison is the toughest little girl I know and doesn't want me to know if she's not feeling 100%, but will show she's missing daddy in subtle ways; attitude, unable to fall asleep or frustration with school.
*I read a research article during the last deployment that said military kids with a pet dog fared better during deployment than those who didn't. The pet gives them a constant (same is true for moving) in their every changing life. I remember emailing the article to Ben on the ship and telling him that if he was to deploy again, we needed a dog. He listened and found Maya right after our move across the country and it was the best, crazy, decision we ever made. Now he teases me that she is my therapy dog. She is an amazing blessing for our kids, but it's true...I'm pretty sure I've sent him more pictures of the dog than the kids! She makes me laugh when I feel overwhelmed, taking her for walks relaxes me, I sleep better with her in my room and there's nothing better than hearing the kids giggle when she covers them in kisses. We are proof that the research is true. Dogs and military kids is a very good idea.
~Maya is fiercely protective of her pack. If the kids are in the front yard playing, she will sit on the couch watching them from the window, like a hawk. She acts like a nervous mom and whines if they ride their bike a little too far down the street and barks if anything even thinks about coming close to our house. She will not leave that spot as long as they are out there.