Jesse left to go on a trip to New Zealand and Antarctica on Thursday evening. He will be gone until the 9th of January. It's not that much longer than a normal trip, but it just stinks that he's going to be gone for the holidays.
I think I mentally prepare for the worst because I don't deal with disappointment very well. When he goes on a 10 day trip, I always tell myself that he will be home on the 12th day and somehow am genuinely surprised when he comes home on the 10th day. Or when a holiday, birthday, anniversary, or event is approaching, I just assume that he won't be around for it... and once again am just really happy when he is! I feel like that's the best way for me to deal with having a husband who is gone so often. I am never disappointed this way and am often getting an added bonus when he is home for important things.
I kind of feel like I have this mindset also to protect Jesse. I don't want him to feel guilty or that he's letting me down when he leaves. I put on my big girl pants and smile through his departure. I did this again on Thursday night. I gave him a big hug and acted like he was going to be back later that evening... just having dinner with the guys or something. And then I walk back to my car, shut the door, drive 10 feet, bite my quivering lip, and then.... the waterworks start. I don't think Jesse knows this about me... so this probably is news to him as he is reading this.
So here's the secret: I put on a pretty convincing tough girl front. It goes like this: it doesn't bother me that my husband is gone over half to time, that he will be deploying for four months at the end of April, that he will be missing my brother's wedding, that I am a single and working mother half the time, and I can do it all on my own plus some. I miss my husband dearly when he leaves, but rarely show it.
But, it's worth it. He is able to do amazing things for our amazing country. If wives and mothers have to make this sacrifice, it might as well be me because... I'm good at looking like a tough cookie. :)
Here is a picture that Jesse took last year while doing an airdrop over the South Pole in Antarctica: