I read this quote on Kelly's blog the other day and it's definitely fitting:
"A Navy Wife is no ordinary woman. Operating for months at a time without the companionship or assistance of her husband, she routinely overcomes challenges that would give the average person a nervous breakdown."-Jeff Edwards
Kelly is one of the wardroom wives on the our boat/crew. I'm not really into the navy wife get-togethers or anything, but do manage to establish friendships with wives I have commonalities with more than just our hubbies working together. She's gone through some incredible stuff during this patrol: driving her and her three kids to Iowa from GA by herself, then going through bacterial meningitis, and then driving BACK to GA from IA by herself...just to say the least.
It reminds me of one of my/our bestest friends Jaimee Martino. Now, when Jaimes was stationed in HI, Al went out to sea for his 6-month deployment. Keep in mind, this was a fast attack subs, so 6-month deployments are the longest underways of a BUNCH o' underways (let's just say that the guys are gone waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than they are home and this boomer tour we're on now has been CAKE). Anyhoo...my darling Jaimes had two toddlers, 11 months apart, and stuck in paradise. Not to mention that by the end of Al's deployment...6 months, remember...well, add another 4 months to that, making it the longest time a sub's been deployed. Yup. Not to mention the scary incident of an attempted break-in where she could SEE the guy though the peephole trying to get into her place...compounded by the fact that she called the police ONLY TO BE TOLD that she needed to contact base police AS THE PERP WAS TRYING TO COME INTO HER HOME. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah. Nice, huh? Let's not mention ER visits with toddlers/infants FOR YOURSELF. Try that one on for size. The Martinos have got to be one of THE best families we know, but it always seems to pour on them...not that you would EVER know since they are SO not the type to be "poor me/us"...at all. Even their children are THAT amazing. If there are any kids that we'd want our kids to be like, we we always agree "the Martino kids". Great kids come from great parents.
This patrol has been crazy. It started with sick kids the day Sean left, hearing of an attempted abduction in our neighborhood RIGHT BEHIND our house...by a man who had been prowling my street and seen me & my children, an attempted break-in last week, having a Nassau County sheriff deputy make me cry in front of my kids at the Nat'l Night Out shindig at our clubhouse after I told him about the attempted break-in that morning and him having the gall to tell me it was probably a racoon....try telling that to Jax, a tropical storm, going through another round of colds, wildlife in the house, things not working, being dragged around the vet's office by two dogs whose combined weight (not pulling) is 1.5x my own, etc. But whatever...things could've been worse. We had a lot of good things too...Kaia's camp, pool time, independence, bigger muscles, self-discovery, updating blogs, etc.
I'd say I'm 95% thankful for this underway. I was always one of those spouses who absolutely didn't want to see their significant other leave (you'd be surprised to find out there are a bunch of spouses who count down the days till the other spouse leaves). BUT, maybe as a coping mechanism, I know there is going to be a lot of good that comes out of it. For starters...we learn to not take each other for granted, have time for self-discovery/reflection, and have time to read ADULT books!!! ;o)
This sea tour (which is Sean's department head tour) has also been a bit easier than our JO (junior officer) tour. A fast attack (the type of sub Sean was on in Norfolk) schedule is no joke. They go out to sea WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more (lots fo underways), for longer periods of time (you'll have at least one 6 month deployment), and there is no off-crew (which is similar to shore tour). When the guys are in port, they're on the sub...for loooooooong hours. It's hard hearing the other wives complain about these underways since for many, it's they're first tour. I can commiserate since I know it's hard when your partner goes out to sea for months at a time and sometimes there is no communication while he's out. We are lucky that the guys have email access since email on subs is still relatively new. Before you were limited to Family Grams...read "30 word letters". Yeah. But, emails are only good when the system is working and when the guys can receive/send them. There is no internet access for the guys nor can they receive attachments on their emails (ie. no photos of the kids). A lot of the other wives (whose hubbies served previously on fast attacks) are all on the same page about boomer (what Sean's currently on) tours being a lot easier...and when I say a lot, I mean the whole time we've been down here, Sean's underway time is probably equivalent to a little over 1 year of his JO tour.
Of course, the exception to this "easy boomer tour" is of course THE MARTINOS!!! Al's DH boomer tour has been more like a fast attack tour. Seriously, when can this family get a break. But still, you'll never hear a "poor me/us" out of them.
It's been two years since we've been down here, stuck in an area where diversity is a joke. We're far from The Fam & the rest of our friends. Still, we're thankful. We've got an amazing house (amazingly MESSY house) in a beautiful neighborhood. There isn't any traffic. We've made some good friends/neighbors. The scenery is beautiful. We're close to lots of new/exciting things/places (ie. ORLANDO). Without the Navy, we'd never have so much "family time" since we'd be in DC and always hanging out with everyone. It's been good to bond and grow with what little time (relatively) we've had together. I do miss working outside the home, but love my current career.
Life is Good.
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