This deployment has been so different than the others. The biggest difference is now we have a child involved. Jack has kept me so busy, in so many good ways. We are part of a MOPS group two Tuesdays a month and have a "Mommy and Me" gymnastics class on Wednesday mornings. He is climbing on the sofa to read and has so many words I can't even count! (He can put 3 words together...a big deal for a 20 month old! He says "I git youuuu" and "Mo mo cook-ee puh-leeez!" When he asked for more cookies, I just about gave him the whole box I was so excited!) I also get a baby-sitter at least 1 night a week so I can have some adult time (Tuesday is my tap dance class).
For the most part, Jack is handling this deployment extremely well. The week before Ian left, we began working on the concept of "right back." Jack started understanding pretty quickly that if we leave his Lambie in the car it will be there when we get back. This has translated into when Mommy leaves the room, leaves the house for a few hours (and a baby-sitter with him!), and ultimately to Daddy will come home. There have been several days that Jack has missed Ian so much it takes a while for me to calm him, but I know how good that is. He remembers Daddy and misses him, that equals attachment to Daddy...a very good thing. I feel the Daddy Doll has helped tremendously (go to www.daddydolls.com to get your own!) with the separation.
We have good days and bad days, but mostly great ones. Jack and I leave the house everyday, even if it's to go for a walk. We get together with friends often so we don't have too much time to miss our Hero (or watch the news). Each day the deployment gets a little easier, but we also miss Ian a little more. With just under 3 months left, we can now start planning The Day. The Day our Hero returns to our arms. The Day Daddy can drive cars with Jack. The Day Ian can take out the trash and change a diaper.
P.S. Today, August 29 marks 100 days of deployment...the longest we have ever made it without news of cancer or more surgery!