One month from yesterday, actually. We are now on the official countdown until he leaves, and I as I prepare for single momhood again, I am filled with memories of last time. As hard as it was, I can honestly say I was better after it was over. I was strong and felt victorious when he came home, like I had fought a battle and won. Which, in a way, I had.
So now, I'm preparing another go at it. This time, with renewed insight (especially from General Conference!) and a desire to do even better than last time.
I think Andrew is dreading it even more than I am. I don't blame him. This time won't be nearly as "fun" for him - he won't be as busy or doing as many cool things. I mean, saving the world is pretty cool, but you know, it gets old day in and day out. I imagine. I find him clinging logner to the kids or kissing Dean extra times, and I know what he's thinking. He doesn't want to miss it. He doesn't want to be gone when Dean learns to crawl and probably walk. He will miss so many thousands of little things - another one of Leighton's birthdays, for instance. (We're going on 50% father's birthday attendance here for poor Bubba!) Last time I thought I had the worse end of the deal, but this time I feel like he does. And I am trying to be the strong one. For once in my life.
As I told my mom the other day, the Lord knows I like to plan things, so he allowed me to put my biggest trials and tribulations (so far) on the calendar. 4 months long, 120 days of hardship. I like it that way. I don't like deployment, but I am trying to remind myself that it is a blessing to sacrifice for this country, and that we will never ever ever be left alone, though we will be apart.
I found this free print today from one of my new favorite blogs, and it was absolutely perfect for me. I will be printing this off and hanging it where I can see it every day. Because it's true - I CAN do hard things, and I can do them well.