Today has been a good day.  It’s odd, I find myself talking like someone who is dealing with death or a serious illness, there are good days, and not-so-good days, and bad days.  And while this is so not like those areas, it’s not permanent, it is adapting to a whole new life.  It’s a new way of dealing with life.  Personal interactions are different.  I can’t even call up our new FRG leader and ask if we could meet for a cup of coffee while I explain what I can and won’t do as a part of FRG.  It’s a conversation that will have to be had by phone (I hate phone calls, I really, really do), at a meeting (but there are things I wish to discuss that I don’t want to hash out in front of everyone), or by e-mail (the route I’m gonna take).  Why can’t I have this person over for dinner, or out for coffee?  It’s a guy, and our spouses are deployed.  Even though nothing would happen, and my three rowdy kids would be present (they are ever-present in my life), it’s still not gonna happen.  Not going there.  Period.  It’s also my kids being more excited than Matt’s child when Matt came home and I was hanging with his wife at their house.  I think it took a minute for him to get into the door as my children flooded the entry so very excited to have a dad-like figure/male person around.  It’s Xavier looking at his Sunday School teachers (we are so blessed to have all male teachers for his class, so very important for young men his age, especially when a majority of the men in our church deploy or work on the slope) in a whole new way.  My child idolizes those men right now.  It’s also eating differently.  One, the way I normally cook costs more, and when Chase is gone I’d rather use that money to go out to eat.  Two, the kids would rather just eat Alfredo, or the easy stuff anyway.  Three, it is easier stuff, so less time spent.  Four, I don’t mind the time or the cost when Chase is home. I love to watch him love the food that I make.  I could cook for him for the rest of my life.  It makes me happy.  But when I don’t get the satisfaction of cooking for someone who loves to eat what I cook, the pleasure greatly diminishes.  It’s no longer fun.  I actually have to do the budget.  Instead of just sit down with Chase and look over what he’s done, or even just do my own thing knowing he’s got this, I actually have to do it.  I have to check the mail.  I know it’s a little thing, no big deal.  Except that I have never been successful into making it a daily habit.  No matter how long he’s gone or how often he’s gone, it’s just one of those things.  However, no matter how bad I am at checking the mail on normal days, you betcha I’ll be out on President’s Day, Memorial Day and all the other federal holidays.  Okay, I did catch myself last Monday and didn’t check the mail, but not until I had keys in hand and was ready to walk out the garage to go get it.  I’m parenting by myself.  I’ve gone over this one a lot, but it’s a big one.  Here I am ever thankful that this is a temporary issue.  Chase will be back when the boys hit puberty.  Thank you Lord.  But there are still times when I am in want for a dad.  The times when I’m just tired and have had it up to here.  And then the times when it would come better from a guy who gets guy stuff.   Like when doing guy stuff is appropriate and not appropriate.  Like burping or talking about farting.  From Mom it’s “well, she’s a girl she just doesn’t like that stuff ever.”  And that’s not completely true.  But just because the whole restaurant laughed two weeks ago when Austin let out “the loudest” burp doesn’t mean we can try to replicate the process every time we go.  And may I say that the whole restaurant happened to be another family from church, the wait staff, and us.  But from a Dad, a guy, that conversation just might mean more.  And then there’s the when it’s okay to wrestle and who it’s okay to wrestle.  I get it, wrestling is good for little boys.  I don’t get why, but I don’t have to.  I just let my boys be boys.  But there is a time and a place.  And we don’t wrestle girls.  Okay, when little sister throws herself on top of a dog pile, that’s different.  And if a girl starts it, they can defend themselves to keep from getting hurt.  But, even if the little girl is wrestling too, it’s just not okay.  But hearing that from Mom isn’t the same as hearing it from Dad.  And Chase is a much better person at teaching respect.  Because he’s a guy and he gets guy stuff, and I’m not so I don’t.  And then there’s the whole lonely factor.  Even the best girlfriends aren’t the same.  Especially at night when the kids are in bed.  Or at church, because I like to say what I think, and I tend to think a lot at church, but Chase is the only one I’ll say it all too, because he’s the only one who gets me.  Some of my poor girlfriends have had to listen to some of the comments I just couldn’t keep to myself.  And today when the pastor was telling us that we should sit in different places and meet different people I couldn’t help but pout and say aloud “but I like my seat.”  But like I said, today is a good day.

I’ll admit, I’m at fault for the growing streak of not-so-good days.  I haven’t been praying like I ought.  I mean I’ve been praying at meal, and praying for Chase and all the other people on my list of who I need to pray for.  But it seems like as I’ve had less opportunities to talk to adults that I’ve also forgotten I can talk to God throughout the day.  I can tell Him what I’ve been thinking.  I can even just complain to him about all the dishes I have to do.  I can ask Him for help when the kids are driving me up a wall.  I call myself the crazy lady who talks to herself all the time, but I really know that I’m talking to God.  And I’ve stopped.  I’ve been in mere survival mode, mutely taking care of what needs to be done, then getting tired and overwhelmed.  And even though I may be quiet in the presence of other people, I’m never quiet by myself.  And so when deployment gets tough, because it is tough, I need to stop myself from going into survival mode.  I need to step back and remember who I am.  And do the things that make me me, even if I’m not feeling it at the time.  Because I’m not going to have bunches of good days when I’m not being the person God created me to be: the crazy lady who talks to God all day long.