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Something happened this deployment that I never thought would: I got a book deal. Suddenly, my little “write to fall asleep” hobby materialized into the job I’d always dreamed about. But what blessed us simultaneously? The baby we’d been waiting for two years to appear was dropped off at hockey practice and we became instant foster parents.

All of a sudden I’ve got everything we’ve been praying for …  and my husband is deployed.

Overwhelmed isn’t quite the word for it.  No, out of my mind, or perhaps sleep-deprived?  Those might come closer. Now we have these five beautiful kids, a time-consuming hockey season and I’m trying to work from home.  Work! 

Now, I do have about an hour in the morning, where kid 5 is napping and kids 1- 4 are at school. And, it’s delicious. What do I choose to do with that?  Well, sometimes I work, and other times, well, I get all scandalous and shower. You know, without anyone busting in to tattle. But as soon as kid 4 hops off the bus? Well, I’m thinking I can manage to get some work done right?  Yeah.

So I sit at my newly-assembled office area, like I’ve become some kind of professional, and begin to work.  But then … it begins.

 “Momma! Can I wake the baby up? I want to see her.”

“Mommy!  Can I have a snack?”

So while I’m up getting kid 4 a snack, I figure I may as well throw those breakfast dishes in, and then why not toss that load of laundry in the dryer? Then it’s opening that can of play-dough, folding the laundry fresh out of the dryer, getting a phone call from the school that kid 3 has a fever, which leads to waking kid 5 up from her nap to retrieve kid 3. Now all three are hungry, so there’s lunch to be made, and cleaned up, and kid 5 fed, and put down to nap, but not until we vacuum out the aforementioned play-dough from the dining room carpet. Oh, and it’s time to snow blow the new six inches of snow here at Fort Drum.

Yeah, this looks a lot more like being a stay-at-home mom, and less work-from-home author.  Add on this deployment and the boys’ schedules, and is it any wonder it’s almost midnight as I’m writing this? 

I miss Jason, not just as my husband, my best friend, but also my partner. I miss having him to fall back on, to grab dinner if I’m lost in my edits, or to take the littles to practice so I can get the bigs to their hockey game. I miss his laughter, the way he hangs his uniform on the dining room chair, the way he kisses me when he gets home and launches into a wrestling brawl with the boys two minutes later.  I miss being on a team, instead of this plate-spinning routine I’m failing at right now. 

I envy the women who know how to work this system. You know them, the ones who have it all together and can run their business, finish school, generally be amazing while their husbands are deployed. I know a couple of these women, and I watch in awe at the grace with which they handle  themselves. As much as I’d love to be – I am not one of these women.  No, I’m more the “oh crud, you’re out of clean socks again?  Borrow your brother’s and I’ll throw your laundry in next” kind of mom during deployment.

Yet, it’s all getting done, I suppose. Sure, I’m not on my “A” game, like I am when Jason’s here. But how can I be when half of my team is missing? This deployment is winding down, thank goodness, and for every ounce of crazy that we’re going through, well, I know it will all smooth out when he walks through those doors again.

So, right now, I’ll vacuum up the play dough, snuggle the kids, and write at night.  Everything changes, everything adapts during a deployment and that includes me. I can’t really expect these huge changes to go as smoothly as they would if he’d been here, and honestly, I wouldn’t want them to. Because as crazy, hectic, and downright insane as it is to get my heart’s desire all at once in the middle of a deployment, I’m cool with it being nuts because I love that I still need Jason, even this close to the end.

Hurry home, babe, I can’t wait to see what you think of the changes around here!

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