Island Nanny was here for two weeks, and left early early early (as in, before the sun was up, which is very early here) on Thursday morning. Six hours later, I was taking Island Boy to "Tumbling for Tots" on base, and I called Island Dad to see if he wanted to meet up for lunch, which we usually do.
Instead of our normal, brief, "Hey, you want to meet for lunch in an hour or so? Yes? Ok! See you then!" I was greeted with, "Hey! I assume you want to meet for lunch, and that's fine. But [insert daunting 'dun dun dun' music here], I wanted to run something by you [further daunting music here]. There was a last-minute opening for the up-coming session of Squadron Officer's School (SOS, henceforth), and they're offering it to me.
"Major-in-our-office (the deputy in the office, name withheld for privacy) said I needed to run it by my 'Commander-in-Chief-at-Home,' first. I'd have to leave the day after tomorrow. Big downside is that you won't be able to make the trip you've been getting excited about [leaving out detailed information here, as well, for privacy]. I feel awful about that part." (Backstory: I was beyond excited, yes, but Island Dad was the one who initially had encouraged me to go.)
Now, SOS is a big honor to get to do in-residence, and something that would definitely enhance Island Dad's career. And it's five weeks long. We knew he would have to go at one point or another, and had actually been thinking he was going to be gone over Thanksgiving for the course. And I really, REALLY wanted to go on that trip.
So, I tried my hardest to hold it together as we walked from the parking lot into the gym where Tumbling for Tots is held. I am not ashamed to admit that I did have myself a little pity party for the first little bit of time there, until I realized that I didn't know any of the other moms, and I probably wasn't making a great impression. After all, who wants to be the loser sitting in the corner and crying? Not me!!
Basically, I knew what my answer had to be. A) It was better that he go now than potentially be gone at Thanksgiving, or, worse (as he pointed out later), gone for five weeks to SOS next spring, and then have to turn right around and do pre-deployment training for a month, followed immediately by a six-month deployment. That would be a total of eight to nine months gone, in the end. Not good.
B) My wanting to go on the trip was purely selfish. Yes, maybe my getting a break from the Island Kids would have done us all some good, but ultimately, I was the one who would benefit the most, and I was really the only one who would have been greatly affected by my going on the trip. Island Dad going to SOS, however, affects his career, and therefore it automatically affects ALL of us. Him, the kids, myself, all of us. On a lot of levels. And, yes, it really is still quite strange to me that such an outside force can have such an effect on our entire family. I'm not always sure how I feel about this.
So we embarked on the most insane 36 hours I've seen in awhile! He worked all day and night (because he had to make phone calls to the East Coast, which meant 2 AM for us), and I did what I could to mentally prep myself for what was coming.
The Island Kids have taken fairly well to the change, all things considered. Island Boy has been maybe a bit more rambunctious lately, though that probably is due in part to being cooped up because of contractors replacing floor tiles yesterday, and then rain today. Island Girl did not want to sleep yesterday, but again, mostly because of the contractors banging and chipping tiles. On the whole, I am, at this point, fairly certain that we can all make it through this and my sanity will be intact. And, I think, so will the house! Still, it's a little weird to be the only adult on the [familial] Island right now.