He ran over to me at the picnic table with a dandelion in his hand. Hilariously, it was the second grade boys picking them up and making wishes at lunchtime while they yelled to each other, "You can't tell anyone your wish or it won't come true!" Logan closed his eyes and blew the tiny wisps of white into the wind. "Mom, I want to tell you my wish."
I nodded and he leaned in to whisper it in my ear.
"I wished that dad could come home early."
My husband has been deployed for seven months. We are seven months down into what on paper is our easiest deployment to date.
Seven months should seem like nothing when you have lived this life for a while.
Maybe it should. Maybe it doesn't matter how long you've done it.
I'm a "thriver". I'm a "get it done, do it well" kind of person. The "eye-on-the-prize-I-can-do-this-bring-it-on" kind of person.
Except not this time.
This time I've been a "just-keep-swimming, hang-on-a-little-longer, push-push-push-come-on-keep-pushing" kind of person.
In January (month five) I resigned myself to the fact that this time I couldn't be the "thriver". This time I wasn't. This time was different. We took a positive turn then. Murphy chilled out, things fell into place, and we finally, finally found our groove.
We are breathing, we are making it through, our heads are above water.
It took me until today, seeing Logan's smile after he whispered in my ear (not overwhelming sadness that his daddy wasn't here, not pain, but joy at the thought of his daddy coming home) to realize that sometimes, many times, the surviving in itself is the thriving. I haven't curled up in bed and refused to get out. I haven't failed my kids. I haven't broken to where I couldn't heal.
And I have broken - mentally, emotionally, physically broken. We are still here. We are still living while we heart-breakingly endure the waiting.
I have been enough. I have been present enough. I have held them enough. I have held myself together enough.
Surviving has been enough.