Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let's Enjoy the Now

When I was in HS (I can hear my two girls giggling as I write that), the phrase "Carpe Diem" was something we'd chat about and write in our yearbooks and pretend like we really knew what we were talking about.

I'd love a ring like this.

Kids today have "YOLO," which I prefer to think means "You obviously lack originality" but apparently is supposed to be "You only live once" and to some is also a free ticket to acting like an idiot.

Neither of these are bad ideas, and neither are terribly original.  "Carpe Diem," after all, comes from Horace and is shortened from Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.  The whole thing loosely translates to, "Seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the future."

Today, some friends of mine on a Facebook page were discussing the possible drawdown in deployments.  Rumor has it that only 10% of troops would be deploying next year.  My knee-jerk, and slightly cynical/bitter thought was that it would probably be the 10% that has already deployed the most times, but the point was that this supremely high op-tempo that we've had for the last 11 years, might actually stop.  It might slow down.  Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors might actually come home without having the date of their next deployment in hand.   They might see more children born, they might be able to have family time again.

There are signs of this already, small faint rays of hope that are more easily seen by those of us who have lived this life for a long time.  "Payday activities" means we see Soldiers on post wearing dress uniforms for inspections.  Sergeants' time is happening again.  And the military is doing what it can to get rid of those service members who bring the whole rank and file down.  (The methods they are using to do that are worth their own blog post, but I'm going to try to stay on topic here.)

However, those of us who have been around for a while are a little suspicious.  We'll believe it when we see it.  We'll believe it when their heads are on their own pillows, next to ours.  We'll believe it when our kids get to see their dads.  We'll believe it when the POA expires and can sit in a dusty folder, unused.

In response to her husband's comment about the 10% deployment rate, she said "as much as I'd like to believe you're not going to deploy, I'm not going to get happy or excited.  I'm still going to plan in my head that you're leaving late next year.  I've learned never to get my hopes up with the Army."

His words to her, said while holding her tight, are where this blog actually begins:  "Let's enjoy the now."

For now, he's home. For now, his arms are around her and holding her close. For now, the bags are stored and the gear is away. For now, his head rests next to hers in the bed they share.  For now, he can hug the kids and he can discipline the kids. If she's lucky, for now he can pinch her rear and chase her around the living room, embarrassing the heck out of the kids. They can have dinner together, and watch movies together.  

Whatever may or may not happen in the future with our Soldiers, our Sailors, our Airmen and our Marines-- let's enjoy the now.   If it's that we see them on Skype, or we get a text from them while they're at school, or they're home from a weekend before they return to their duty station...  Whatever we have, let's count ourselves blessed.

Let's enjoy the now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I have neglected this poor blog horribly, and there really isn't a concrete reason behind it.  Perhaps I'm just tired, emotionally.  There are many good and wonderful things going on in our lives, and I am thankful and happy-- just a bit worn out.

I've started a second blog, 52 Voices and 52 Prayers, based on my year-long journey for a new church.  It's been fulfilling and thought-provoking, and it's made me accountable to pray and learn and research.  It's fed my soul in ways I could not have predicted.

My G and both G's are doing pretty well, with a few bumps along the road that we've managed well so far.  I have a new job, which keeps me learning and occupied and has a tremendous amount of support.

So, what's missing?  Not much, really, but I want to be writing more.  The church blog is a wonderful and wondrous thing, but it has a singular focus and I want to write more extensively.

A friend of mine posted When the Days are Long, and after reading that, I found Joyful Mothering's August goals post.  Since I, too, believe that the days are long but the years are short, I want to do more than mark time and "get through".  White-knuckling it through our children's years at home wastes so much precious time.  By setting specific goals, month by month, I hope to actually accomplish something that is concrete and measurable.  For myself, and for my children as well.

Here are my goals, and I hope Joyful Mothering will forgive me for ripping off her categories:

Write once a week in both blogs for all of October.
Figure out a savings budget and timeline for getting my Masters'.

Make concrete plans for November
Have a phone chat with him that is NOT focused on work, his or mine.

Spend time doing something fun alone with each of them. (Movie?)
Help each of them accomplish one goal that is on their list.

Finish the classroom
Sign up two more unique volunteers.

I have a good feeling about this.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mea Culpa

I’m sorry.

To all of the office staff at all of the schools through all of the years, I humbly apologize.  For all of the times I have filled out a form and trusted that you could read my letters and numbers and quickly-jotted information, I am sorry.

For the phone calls with weird requests, for any of those times when I came in at lunch or right after lunch or any time that every other parent comes in, I am sorry.

For those times when I forgot to send in a note, or my children didn’t bring it back, mea culpa.  For those times when the children folded the notes into teeny little squares, I apologize on their behalf.  For any marks/scratches/tears/scribbles/or smears of dirt, I beg your forgiveness.

I’ve been told that I have been a reasonably responsible parent. I’ve tried to help the schools that help our children.  I’ve sent notes, made phone calls, asked questions and tried to follow rules.  For the most part, I did not immediately think the school was at fault when there was an issue, especially a discipline problem. 

But I know, as I decipher and unfold and reassemble these notes, I have most definitely not been perfect.  I know now that each of these notes added just “one more thing” when the pile of papers was already tall.  I know that crinkles and wrinkles and even dirt are the norm when grubbly children’s hands have touched these missives from the school.  This week I’ve seen crayon and dirt and pink ink and grease/glue/godonlyknows on some of these little notes, and it makes me wonder what joys my own children have given their schools over the years.

So, please forgive me.  

I love it when they have little ones at home. :)