I had a house full for Gramerling night on Thursday, so Bean didn't get his swing time until after supper. It was cold and dark by then, but he needed a swing and story. Like I said, I shouldn't be surprised, but he just doesn't fit in that old dolphin swing anymore. Not to be deterred, he sat on the back with his feet in the seat and ordered up a story with two of his friends, Luke Skywalker and a bunny. I was happy to oblige.
This seemed particularly poignant in light of other news received a few hours before. 1st Lt.'s unit received their deployment papers to Afghanistan. It's been eight years since he enlisted and for most of those years I've made it a point to pray everyday for the Good Lord to keep him out of this war. As I've shared before, I've always considered those particularly selfish prayers, as I cannot fathom a mother anywhere who would gladly send off a child to the war.
I made myself feel better by saying it was for a different reason. You see, no one knew Bean was coming when 1st. Lt. enlisted. 1st Lt. was in boot camp when Bean was born. Ceece managed well through the remainder of the pregnancy and labor and delivery without him being here. Then Bean contracted that awful bacterial infection, and well it was a very long three weeks for everybody. 1st Lt. only got bits of information piecemeal. Finally he came home and though he wasn't available for any of the bonding you always read about, that baby boy fell as in love with 1st Lt. as 1st Lt. did with him. Seeing them together is what prompted those prayers. Thinking of Bean growing up not knowing his dad was about more than I could think about and still breathe, so I'd ask, again and again, "Please keep him out of this war." Then came Missy Bugg, with her own bit of trauma, being born early and needing some NICU time on a respirator. This time, he was here and all Daddy Bearcat. I only think I held her once before she came home from the hospital. Ahh, keep praying. Over and over, the powers that be would switch him to a new unit and the one he left behind would be deployed (big sigh). I suppose with talk of bringing our men and women home and less of those leaving for foreign shores, I've become a bit complacent, thinking that soon, there'd be no more troops deployed.
Guess I shouldn't be surprised, because unlike his previous yearly two weeks training, his last training was different and very specific. I was surprised however. I can honestly say the very first thought that floated to the surface was my gratefulness for the gift of his presence to his children during their formative years. Of course my next thoughts were different- edgy, sad, fearful. Though the gratefulness was there, it won't keep me from hoping and praying that a last minute switch of commands will again leave him here with his family when that unit leaves.
Till then I will try to remember who is in control and rest in that. It isn't my strong suit.