Deployment Thoughts

by Lisa Douglas

“Mom, I think you should make this barbecue chicken like this from now on..” my teen mumbled with sauce decorating the corner of her mouth.

I’m not sure why I chose to make it differently this time, perhaps to save time, I guess? But I agree with her, it was the sauciest, lip-smackingly wonderful barbecue chicken that had me super glad I’d made a ton – we had plenty for leftovers.

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The baby and I have enjoyed our “mommy and me” lunch dates this week so far. I keep repeating to myself  “Just stay busy, Lisa. Just stay busy.” She loves our little chore trips to the store to go grocery shopping, or pick up stuff for the kids’ classes. We’ve enjoyed walking to get the kids from school, and fixing our front garden to prepare for planting soon.

– –

Every day, as soon as the children come home from school, it gets chaotic. Like, super-crazy, hair-on-fire chaotic. The dog needs walked, there’s homework to be completed, the chores are never-ending, dinner needs prepared, the kids have friends ringing the doorbell, and, every day, this also happens to be the time my husband texts me from “over there,” too.

I need eleven clones just to attempt to stay sane, but, somehow, I do it all with just myself (the kids are resisting in the help department). Every day by nightfall, I am thanking God that “that” is over, only to remember it starts again the second the alarm goes off for school pick-up the next day. Getting up for school, getting ready for school, even (most of the time) during school with the baby isn’t a problem, it’s just the after school time that’s got me unnerved. Is it the deployment? Is it just me flying parentally solo? I don’t know. I just wish they’d cooperate and help a little more, because this harried, out of control feeling isn’t the best feeling, and it’s just me right now

– –

Another successful dinner completed, where each child cleaned their plate, some of them twice. This time, it was Italian Crock Pot Chicken – always a favorite in our household. “Wow, mom, look at all these leftovers!” one of my teens points out. “Plenty for us for lunch tomorrow!”

“Wow, you must really love us!” the other teen remarks.

Sure, I absolutely love them, and sure, I did prepare a ton for dinner, again. I know they love it, and I do, too. But I can’t help but sigh deeply instead of smile at the remark, with my husband’s plate at dinnertime empty right now, and an irreplaceable empty seat at the dinner table, the sizable leftovers are just another reminder of the husband and father we miss dearly.

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