Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's Worse Than A Pregnancy Scare?

 
A deployment scare.
And the two have a ridiculous amount in common. Let me count the ways...

1. It Drops Out Of The Blue On A Seemingly Innocuous Day
Like October 1st. A day you thought might be kind of shitty because of the looming government shutdown, but then you woke up to find that someone in the government decided to get a bunch of their friends on the We're Not Total Dill Holes bandwagon and managed to ensure that the military will at least get paychecks. Things are looking up. Only to crash - and crash hard - when a very reliable source informs you that the unit you are slotted to join is deploying.

2. There's A Due Date
January. You are supposed to deploy in January. Suddenly your family has a very clear timeline in front of them. You just spent three months away from your family and now you only have three months to enjoy them, prepare to deploy, and to prepare the whole household for you to be gone for a long time.

3. There's Crying
Of course there is. Why wouldn't there be crying?

4. You Think Of The 8,764 Things That Need To Be Done Before The Day Gets Here
Three months. Only three months to get everything ready. Three months to make sure the family will be okay while a major pillar of it's structure is gone. I have to learn how to use the riding lawn mower. And weed eat. We need to have a security system installed. We promised the kids a pet, should probably get that while Dad is still here. We've never taken family pictures. Need to get a Daddy Doll for all 4 kids. Stock the tornado shelter. Stock up on toiletries, non-perishable food, detergents, diapers, medicine...lots of medicine. Get the van serviced. Do I need new tires? Do we have enough money for all this? Doesn't matter. Has to be done.

5. You Think Of The 8,764 Things That You're Going To Miss Out On
How much will your partner miss this time around? He won't be here for the second round of parent teacher conferences. Or any of Braden's cub scout meetings. Or your birthday, but that's not a big deal. It is a big deal that he'll miss Georgia's 4th birthday and...oh crap...Lola's first birthday. He'll miss the end of the school year AND the beginning of the next school year. And fantastic, he won't be around for the birds and bees talk with Braden. Guess there won't be any family vacations. It'll be over a year before I have "alone" time again and whatever plans I had to get back into running have now been delayed by a minimum of 12 months.

6. There's Panic
I can't do this. I can not do this. Why are you not writing me a prescription for anxiety meds right now?

7. You Keep It Secret For A While
Because it's the kind of thing where, until you have truly solid information, it's best not to go spreading it around. A lot can change. A lot can go wrong (or right). And since you already know this is a scare, probably you can see why we never said anything to anyone...even if that is incredibly difficult for someone's wife to accomplish.

8. There's Acceptance
Fine. I will do this. I will hate every effing minute of it and no one will want to be near me because of the year long bad mood I'm about to be in, but I'll do it.
Mostly because I don't have a choice.
And I don't really want to go to jail for holding my own husband hostage from the government.

9. You Look For the Silver Linings
Well I guess it'll be nice not to have anyone bug me about cooking good dinners for the next year. And I won't be forced to watch football ALL weekend. And you get paid more during a deployment so we'll be able to pay down debt faster.
Yeah, that's all I got.
(And don't list the cons...that list would be scary.)

10. There's A Lot Of Relief - And A Smidge Of Disappointment - When The Situation Changes
You've spent almost a month worrying about a deployment when one more piece of information falls into place and you find out that YOUR family is not going to be a part of the deployment. Your whole world is suddenly different. You expect the relief, but are surprised to feel just a tiny bit of regret. Maybe you had started to look forward to paying off that debt faster. And your soldier doesn't want to leave, but the deployments are necessary experience for him to get promotions and keep his career moving forward.
But mostly there is relief.
And you really notice the relief when it affects your life in small ways - like this past weekend when your husband was mowing the yard and you didn't have to make your 8 year old watch the baby so you could learn how to operate the riding mower.
You just kept folding clothes with a smile on your face.

***

There have been zero pregnancy scares for us, but there has been exactly one big fat deployment scare since Bryan came home. Funny, for this exact reason, I had avoided asking Bryan what unit he was slotted to join here at Sill. Maybe that sounds silly, but if you don't even know what unit he'll be in, you can't go searching for information you might not want to hear. For his part, Bryan was operating in the same way. He knew the unit, but wasn't about to contact anyone until he absolutely had to.

However, as a PA, his Army world is a whole lot smaller than it used to be. All it took was one of his friends signing into their unit to find out that his new unit was deploying.
Sometimes, the information finds you.

It often feels like getting accurate information in the military is near impossible. And deployments are situations where secrecy of information is necessary to keep both missions and people safe. So it's frustrating to feel like you're operating off of rumors and half truths, but you start to see why this happens. Bryan was right to want to keep the impending deployment a secret, because it turns out, there's more to the story.

Bryan took 30 days of leave after BOLC, so until this week, he has been at home with us. He signed into his unit last Friday. That's when we learned that his unit is deploying to the Middle East, BUT for whatever reason, only half of the unit is going and he is NOT one of the people being sent.
It still makes me nervous that they could change their mind and sweep more of the unit into the deployment, but for now, it looks like we get to have our family together for the next year or so.

Bullet dodged.
For now.

1 comment:

Liz said...

How scary. I hope he stays put!