Saturday, January 7, 2012


This morning I was thinking about the normal pre-field, pre-deployment rituals.  The known ones (getting orders, packing bags), and the lesser-known.

  • The Pre-leaving Head Shave.  Since I do My G's hair, this is a big one for me.  It's a tighter, shorter haircut than usual, and honestly reminds me of when he came home from Basic and we first met. 
  • The Packing. While watching him pack is painful, it also brings to mind happy memories.  When Big G was very little, he would have her stand in or jump in the top of the duffel bag to make sure he could get the top closed.  She would always help him pack.  
  • The Silence. Before leaving, every Soldier has his way of turning the focus to work.  I know his mind is elsewhere, on packing lists and details and the Army.  I'm sure I'm not the only one to say I hate it.  
  • The Irritation.  The days preceding the mission are among the hardest to take, as both sides of the couple find themselves a little more tense, a little more inclined to argue. Normal...still sucks.
  • The Big Clean.  I don't know if mine is the only one who does this, but My G always puts things away and organizes his stuff before leaving.  All clothes cleaned, closet cleaned up, office things organized.  I deeply appreciate that he does this, but the ritual itself makes me a little sad.
  • The Last FRG Meeting.  In our case, because it's a nontraditional "away," the last one was also the first and only.  But there is still a certain "Rah, Team!" and bravery to the smiles.  It builds us up, helps us all touch base, and as one of the leaders said, it helps us have a face for that name when we are calling.  
What are your family's rituals?  How do you cope?  Let me know in comments.

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