Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Dry Run

He is going. Thankfully it is a short one. He leaves tomorrow but is at work today (it's a rainy Saturday!). I'm bummed, but I get it. It's his job. It's what he does, it's what they do. Go, come, go, come. Goodbyes are never easy, not even the short ones. Those are almost harder. You do the worst of a long deployment: the very beginning and the very end. The beginning is always hard. Watching the packing, working extra hours, saying goodbye, trying not to imagine the number of days, staying out of the dumps, it's all hard. The end is always hard. Waiting, waiting, more waiting, it's all hard. With a long deployment, the beginning eventually becomes "your groove." Everyone is in a routine, life is "normal," you're doing it. It's like being on cruise control for a long car trip. Music's on, miles are passing, kids are content. No one is asking, "Are we almost there yet?" "When is the next stop?" "I'm hungry." "I need to use the bathroom." With a short deployment, we never hit cruise. We go straight from beginning to the end. The questions always come. "Why does he have to go?" "How long will he be gone?" "Where is he going?" "How many days is 4 weeks?" "How many more days NOW?" It's hard. Tomorrow is a short trip. I've watched him pack, he is working today, we will say goodbye before church tomorrow, and already I am fending off being in the dumps. It is a short one. June will be a long one. Tomorrow is our dry run. Thankfully it's a short one.

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