There are two things about him leaving again though that are really hard for me to deal with. The first is knowing what it does to the kids. Sean obviously is too young for any real hardship to be felt, but I do know that he misses having his Daddy around. His Daddy provided another interaction and view for him. I imagine that as a toddler it is probably difficult if you never really see people other than your mother. But just as it was for Ryan on the last deployment, Sean will be just fine, and when it's all over we won't look back. Ryan on the other hand has it pretty hard. I get it a bit more now after seeing his reaction at the airport at the start of R & R. I think sharing me during R & R was a bit difficult for him. It was clear that he was starving for attention, especially that of his Daddy. I feel awful when I think about how he finally was really getting used to having Pat around, and now we've started another several months of deployment. On the car ride home from the airport Ryan kept saying, "I miss Daddy", and this afternoon he was asking, "is Daddy almost done at work?" I am thankful that this part of the deployment will be somewhat shorter than the first part. I am hoping that the time left flies by, and we can work on strengthening the bonds of our family when it is done.
The second hard part for me is the silence here at the house. Now with two little boys, there is never much silence, but I mean the silence of a relationship that is missing for me. I HATE, HATE, HATE not being able to spend time with, cuddle with, and freely talk to my best friend. While Ryan and I do talk, those conversations just aren't the same as the adult ones that I am missing so much. Pat and I had so much fun during these past two weeks, and I think that causes the void to feel so much more massive.
We are strong though, and we can make it through this. We have such great support from one another and from family and friends. We have lots of fun things to look forward to when Pat returns. Hopefully it won't be too much longer.
And I leave you with the wise words Ryan said to me as we dropped Pat off at the airport, "Don't cry Momma. Be happy!" And that is exactly what I'm going to try to do.