We are in survival mode here. It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since I dropped Brent off at the airport and he headed to Mississippi for an Internal Medicine rotation with the Air Force. The original plan was for him to spend four weeks there and then four weeks in Ohio at another Air Force rotation.
Facing the daunting future of 8 weeks without Brent, I decided we needed a countdown chain. It’s always fun to see the chain get smaller and it alleviates all the “how much longer till Daddy comes home and saves us from you” questions I would otherwise get 50 times a day. Daddy gets to be the favorite when he’s away and they forget that he gets impatient, too. But I guess I’d rather they only have happy memories of him while he’s gone.
So, the other part about Daddy being gone is that life goes on. Yes, we’d rather enjoy Fall break WITH him. We’d rather go to the Home Depot Kids Workshops WITH him. We’d rather eat dinner WITH him. But, that’s not our reality. So, I try to give the kids happy moments and awesome adventures to fill our time. Brent is always very sad about missing this part of our lives. It’s a difficult trade off.
This time I thought of a way to keep him in the loop so he could feel a little more a part of our every day life while he was gone. As we’ve torn off each link in our chain, we’ve written down what we did that day. Elli helped write dates on each paper so we could keep track if we got behind.
Then we add each link to an envelope. The plan was to mail them every week so we’ll just pretend like that happened. And forget the fact that the envelope is still sitting on the mantle, full of memories of days we lived while we are at Myrtle Beach celebrating fall break. Brent will be home four weeks early, thank you government shutdown! We won’t finish our countdown chain and Brent will not get our letter. But maybe this idea can help another family who is temporarily apart to connect during that time and to make sweet memories.