Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Rocket attacks kill 3 U.S. troops, wound 31

I don't know what to make of headlines like this now. He's in the Big I, my new name for it. Is it better to continue with my head in the sand or to take the time to look at the details? I'm sure cruising through CNN now it's going to be like buying a new car and suddenly that's all you see on the road.

He called this morning a little before we were to get up. He was about to get on the plane. He spoke with me for a second and got J for a minute or two until the phone cut off. J, who looked pathetic and kind of shell shocked, just sat there with the phone going beep, beep, beep in his ear, still waiting to get his dad back.

He was very disappointed that his dad couldn't say where he was going. I think J took it a little personally, then I explained about anybody from either side listening in and how secrets are good. I guess I need to teach him that loose lips sink ships.

J had his face hidden in my arm and I said that it is really wonderful when his dad calls. He silently nodded. Then I continued that it is equally hard, too, and he nodded again.

I am glad he's going to school and he can better shake off his disappointment.

Ex had sent me an email over the weekend about summer camps for kids of the deployed. I found one (they're all over) and applied (you can only submit for one location/time slot), but it took all day to get the application up on the website, so I know the competition is fierce, just like anything with the military. They primarily choose kids according to deployment status (now or recent or lack thereof) and also choose according to service branch and other factors. I'm sure a factor against us would be ex being an officer, because officers aren't usually allowed perks like this. It is free and lasts six days at the location I chose, includes horseback riding and canoeing, plus the regular stuff. We'll find out in six weeks or so if J was chosen.

Anyway, a big incentive for wanting this sort of camp is that they do semi-subversive deployment counseling with the kids. I don't know how much J would open up to others, but he is a good listener and does integrate ideas. It'd also be great for him to know he's not the only boy in this situation and to maybe make some new friends in a different place. I think he'd remember it his whole life.

PS - The officers and perks thing reminded me of something when I was a very poor newlywed. The battalion (say 100-150 people) was doing exercises for several weeks and the wives left behind were holding a potluck. I mentioned to a rather straight laced friend (daughter to a gung ho Chaplin, wife to a Captain, a rank above ex, who was a Lieutenant) that I might do a vegetable side dish recipe my MIL had just given me. She looked at me in shock, saying/chastising that Officers "provide the meat dishes." Oh, I said, as I contemplated our $30/month grocery budget.

PPS - Got a hair appointment for Thursday morning.


DD said...

I can only imagine how hard this is for both of you, but especially on J. I think the camp idea is wonderful and I'm sure around the other kids, he may open up more. He may even find someone that may end up being one of his best friends through his adolescent life with similar thoughts.

As for the potluck story: I would have a hell of a time with that kind of pecking order.

Cricket said...

Meat dishes and secrecy: just another few reasons I wasn't a good Officer's Wife.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I find reading your posts on this subject painful. Most of us are so unaffected by the horrors of this war and even though it's on the news all the time---I think most of us have learned to make it background noise...you make it very real. And I'm so sorry that it's real for you in a way that is much more painful than I can possibly imagine.

My heart goes out to you and J and to your ex too. May he return safely to J and the rest of his family.

Val said...

Hey, J can ride to his heart's content over here! (although I'm sorry to say by summertime, our all-too-brief interlude of beautiful mild spring weather will be LONG GONE & we will be sucking up the A/C!)
Also fishing in the pond & a short course in Intensive Poultry Mgt ;-)