Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Dark Ages of Deployment

The Naval Academy has a period of time during the school year called the "dark ages".  Essentially it is the time between winter break and spring break where it is cold and gray and, well, a little depressing for midshipman.  From the sounds of my husband's recent emails, it seems that they are hitting a similar rut on deployment.

At this point they have been gone long enough (approaching 3 months) to feel disconnected from family and the home life.  Small children have hit milestones without them, birthday parties have been missed, babies have been born, anniversaries have passed.  But at the same time, we still have a long long way to go before they come home.

I get this feeling that John is starting to really feel the void.  That he is in a fleet version of the dark ages.  I have never for even one second pretended that I have it harder than him.  Yes, I am busy and taxed to my parenting limit sometimes, but at the end of the day I can watch my children play, listen to them laugh, revel in their milestones, and enjoy those smooshy baby hugs.  The idea that being a wife is the "toughest job in the Navy" (as those obnoxious bumper stickers like to profess) strikes me as absolutely ridiculous. My heart aches for the things John is missing while deployed.

I'm not sure if there is anything more I can do to make John feel close to home.  He already gets pictures and cards and care packages.  I'm just hoping we can hit halfway (mid August) quickly and that the downhill portion of this deployment brings happy anticipation and gives everyone a second wind.

4 comments: said...

I totally agree about wives not having the toughest job in the military. For us, the dark ages (love that term!) of a deployment are the last four or five months, usually after R&R. Our first deployment, the dark ages were around month 12 after they were extended another for months. And for our second deployment, by the time month 8 hit - he was completely over it and just wanted to come home.

Right now, there are no deployments scheduled and the thought of him being gone for another year makes me physically ill.

The guys who are really involved fathers (like John) always have it so tough on deployments because they truly know how much they're missing. I hope the dark ages get a bit lighter for you guys soon. You're already accomplishing so much!


sanctimomious said...

I'm sorry. :( I agree, its so hard to imagine how it must feel for them to be away from their babies for so long. I hope time passes quickly til the halfway point and that it brings a definite "downhill slide" feeling with it. xx

S. Russell said...

We just hit our halfway point yesterday and it really felt like a weight was lifted. I have been blessed with extremely busy months during this deployment, and I'll admit I'm guilty of forgetting just how much it must hurt for him. Two nights ago he was *standing by, listening* on skype while I went through bedtime routine, and when I came back to him he was crying. That's always been his thing, bedtime. It hit me then )-; Thanks for sharing Jill.

Blueangel said...

Agree! I have always been annoyed when people say wives have it easier. People would say that to me all the time and I thought, "I slept in my own bed for 8 hours straight and will go to coffee with my girlfriend tomorrow, Brian hasn't slept more than 4 hour straight in 100+ days with complete strangers."
I do really hope the half way mark gets here too.


Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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