May 16, 2014 by comhomflt
My mind is constantly measuring distances, calculating intervals, and tracking time. I can’t even exercise without breaking down a half-hour into seemingly infinite segments and mini-goals to be achieved. Yes, if this were calculus, my continual calculations would pretty nearly achieve the accuracy of integration. While there are those who bemoan the “uselessness” of math, there are others of us who go through life compelled to make calculations by the very fact that numbers exist. And so it is with deployment.
Though we don’t know the exact day count, we are keenly aware of the one-quarter, one-third, and one-half milestones ahead. We also know enough to have calculated a rough estimate of our happiness factor (HF) on one or two occasions already. (HF = DS/DR, where DS is equal to the number of days served and DR is equal to the number of days remaining.) In addition to the quantifiable, numerical approach to tracking, our minds have become adept at breaking this down to small periods of time defined not by days or weeks, but by special occasions and, unexpectedly for me, by the changes that have occurred since our LT left.
It is hard, at first, to put away what won’t be needed for most of a year – the slippers by the door, the dress shirts on the ironing rack, and the last few items of clothing to come through the laundry. But then come the changes – the projects that are completed, the accomplishments of the children, the passing of milestones, and the changes of seasons. What might have waited a month can’t wait for most of the year; what might have been one or two achievements will now be more than I can recount; what might have been a transition from one baby phase to another will now be a transition from baby to toddler, all at once. And so, along with the joy or excitement each change brings, there is also the reminder of what our LT is missing and of all that still lies between where we are now and where we will be on that much-anticipated homecoming day.
New, short “deployment dos” for the girls
New entryway decor
The blossoming of our pear tree over the course of a week,
an event our LT has now missed three years in a row
Our oldest celebrating his ninth birthday
The kids (finally) conquering their fear of water and learning to swim
And, our little Seaman,
who is now capable of letting us know he wants to go out to play with big kids