April 13, 2012

The Night Before

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This is what our house looks like the night before drill. Green everywhere. Boots scattered. It's a scramble to get everything stuffed into a bag before bedtime. A trip to the barber happens earlier in the day or the day before.

Like a light switch, it's civilian to military transformation. He stands a bit taller. He packs quickly, rolling things to fit them in, squeezing them into Ziploc bags because it's supposed to rain and they'll likely be outdoors the whole weekend.

And after he's done packing, and taking a quick shower before bed, I sometimes stand in the dim living room and just look at it all. His dog tags. The brand new boots, because Afghan sand long ago ruined his older ones. The patches with our last name. It doesn't look like my last name when it's velcro-ed onto something belonging to the government.

And, briefly, I think about the next time he's gone- not for drill, or AT, or even the months of school down the road. I think of deployment. It will change 20 thousand times before it gets here, but we have a rough idea of when his unit will next deploy. So I think about how old Millie will be. I think about months of being alone. I remember how those months go by at a snail's pace, and the vague uneasiness that doesn't leave your heart until they leave that country. I remember the ache and the hope and even the occasional beauty of it all. Only briefly though- then I come back to the present. It's just a weekend drill. He is safe.

It's not the real thing yet. It's just a drill. And until the day he does walk onto one of those white buses and drive away, I hope that we remember to make the most of the days we have now.

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7 kind comments from you:

The New Normal said...

Familiar thoughts...it's like you read my mind. Our households are very much alike tonight :) I'm glad it's just a drill weekend, that I can handle. To me, there's something wonderful about seeing all that camo and gear though. Kind of brings back a sense of comfort, but also a bit of anxiety. I hope you and Millie enjoy your adventures this weekend :)

Amanda said...

A weekend drill or a deployment, it is still time without your husband and that always comes with those thoughts of what will be missed. I hope you have a good weekend none the less!

Kathryn said...

Ah I remember those weekends! Although my husband always packed before he left at like 3 in the morning. :) I generally had to be up to help him find what he needed. :) It always sucks when they are gone, no matter for how long. Try to enjoy your weekend with your little one!!! Thankfully the weekends go by fast.

lindsay said...

This morning I just helped my husband get ready and leave for drill...and then couldn't get back to sleep so got online to catch up on my favorite bloggers :) thank you for always writing my exact thoughts...just just recently ross left for additional training and we found out a better idea of his deployment..which like you said has already changed multiple times. Enjoy your weekend...it's a beautiful thing that for more it's only a weekend c:

Mel said...

Ah, yes. I second these thoughts. :)

beka said...

golly. your writing makes my throat tighten.

Amy Brown said...

We endure the same thing leading up to drill weekend. Nick's drill is local, but one of the days, he also heads to his Civilian job straight from drill. Lately, I, too have been wondering about when the next deployment will come. *hugs* to you, I know where you're coming from. I'm happy to have found your blog from the FB page. Have a great week!

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