A New Life, a New School Year, a New Football Season, and some Chocolate.

I feel like I have been hit with a sentiment loaded AK-47 these past couple of days. Each emotion-filled bullet packed with tears, joy, anger, happiness, hate, and love. And I, of course, stand in the open field – arms wide open with no shield. I find myself trapped in the middle of a dual landscape both equally pulling at me. I have no control – everyday is a cycle of sunshine, rain, and rainbows and I am given no signs on where to stop and/or go.

 

This past Friday a very good friend (practically a sister) of mine and her husband welcomed a precious baby boy into the world. I felt the excitement to meet the gorgeous little one as I did for my own daughters.  I cradled him in my arms and I held back tears of joy as I admired his ten little toes, his ten little fingers, his button nose, and his sweet lips. His innocence was so humbling. Here is a little a miracle gifted to two amazing people that had been planning and preparing for his arrival and all because and for love. I couldn’t resist having a steady smile – looking into my friend’s eyes I could see her heart had changed – it now beats for an extra person, her new son – and her husband, so in love and speechless, unable to fully digest the fact that this little wonder belongs to him.

My friend's new sons' itty-bitty toes

My friend's new sons' itty-bitty toes

 Witnessing the first moments of parenthood reminded me of how incredible it feels to hold love in my hands. A moment that I easily forget every now and then, especially when I feel I am at my ends of parenting alone since my husband is deployed. Our daughters, just as my good friends’ newborn son, were created with love and the desire to share our strong connection of wanting to become and beat as one. I was fortunate enough to have my husband home for both our daughters’ pregnancies and births, but I know that other military wives are not so lucky. My heart goes out to the military wives that are expecting and/or have newborns at home who don’t have their other half physically with them to walk in this journey. I know it may not be exactly how, as a military wife, you planned on walking the path to parenthood. I don’t know what it feels like to go through this, but I can only imagine. My hopes are that these women find strength and courage (and a best friend of course) to help them through this rutted road.

My rutted road these days includes experiencing another milestone with the absence of my husband. I sent my oldest daughter off to 1st grade this week. Though she felt the excitement of starting a new grade (and a new school as well – typical military brat) she, being very in tune with her emotions (my lil’ therapist as we call her), expressed that she wished her daddy could be home for her first day of school and that “it didn’t feel right”. On the way to school, she held back tears uttering that she was “trying to be ‘all’ happy”. Thankfully my daughter and I share great communication and I explained to her that it is ok to not be ‘all’ happy all the time. Every now and then, I explained to her, even the strongest people need to let out some tears to get through their day. My heart shattered into a billion pieces as the sadness seeped through her eyes. Upon on our arrival to her new school, she got out the car and said with a smile, “well, when daddy comes home – I can’t wait to tell about all my adventures.” She has adapted well so far just as the social butterfly that she is. I can’t say the same for myself yet, but I know soon we will back into our (interim) routine as we wait for ‘daddy’ to come home.

My daughter - excitedly walking into her school

My daughter - excitedly walking into her school

Football season has also begun again. Every television in my house is normally tuned into ESPN from the moment the sun comes up and goes down. Steaks, mashed potatoes, chips and salsa, and beer are usually top menu choices. The blood runs blue in our home. My husband always roots for the Giants and our oldest daughter usually puts on her Giants cheerleading outfit to cheer with him. Occasionally I would even envy the NFL for taking my quality time away from my husband and would give a pout or two. But here I find myself connecting to football like I have never before – hating and loving it all at the same time. I can honestly say that for me, football is not the same without my husband. I read about everyone’s excitement regarding the upcoming games and all I can think about is how much I miss my husband and how much I want him home – on the couch – drinking a beer – watching the game.

The product of all the emotions I have been pounded with these past couple of days was me super indulging in my favorite treat – chocolate. I have had so much of it that the outcome of my indulgence was taking a couple of Pepcid Acid Reducer pills (Yikes – I know). I find chocolate very comforting. Be it a day of celebration and/or sadness – chocolate is my companion. I know that it is probably not the best choice, especially since it has been quite a number of days since my last visit to the gym, but (hey) it at least enhances my mood for that moment and plus, carrots just don’t have the same effect.

Nevertheless, even though these kinds of weeks can be difficult to get through – I welcome all emotions, because in the end it becomes part of who I am and continues to mold me into a stronger and experienced veteran – military wife.

“Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate! ”
— Elaine Sherman
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One Response

  1. I love that you embrace even the difficult emotions. It seems a lot of people try to fight them, try to be “normal,” but I think having difficult times during deployments IS “normal.” And healthy. And really, really hard.

    But normal! 🙂

    On the really hard days, I used to sit down, lean back, close my eyes, and imagine him as hard as I could. I’d try to put myself there with him, or bring him into my living room. And for as long as I was able to maintain the vividness of the fantasy, he and I got to hang out. It wasn’t the same as actually having him there, but it was the best I could get.

    The imagination is an incredible thing.

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