Here’s my latest at Da Tech Guy’s place.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
I love you guys. You are so quick to befriend us when we move into your neighborhoods and communities. You open your homes and your hearts, and you really respect my husband’s military service and the family sacrifices this service entails.
It is out of this love that I am writing this post. To help you guys. Because, as big as your hearts are, and as much as you respect us, you sometimes don’t know what to say. When it comes to frequent moves and regular deployments, well, you sometimes don’t know what not to say.
I’m here to help. With a list.
1. Unless we are leaving in six months or sooner, don’t ask if we know where we are going next. We don’t know.
2. Don’t tell me about how you warn your children not to get too attached to our children because we will move in a couple of years. That bothers me a little.
3. Don’t tell me about the people you know who are totally messed up because of the frequent military moves during their childhood. Seriously you guys. It’s exactly like you are saying to me, “wow, your kids are screwed!”
4. If my husband is deployed, and you haven’t seen me in a while, don’t say, “Wow! He’s been gone ___ months already? Time has just flown by!” I know you mean that in an encouraging way, but a deployment only flies by when it’s not your loved one who is gone.
5. If my husband is deployed, and you know of someone whose husband was deployed for a longer period, do not say, “Count your blessings, at least he is not gone as long as so-and-so!” I know you mean to be encouraging, but I struggle with feeling insulted. I’m already aware that many military families have it a lot tougher than we do. To point out that fact somehow diminishes my own efforts.
6. When the deployment is coming to a close, do not ask, “do I have a date yet?” in front of my children. Even if I have a return date, I have not told them. It’s hard enough for grownups to handle the anticipation, let alone children. And even though they don’t know the exact date, they know the time is soon. The end of deployment is a hundred times harder to wait for than Christmas Day. So don’t remind them!
7. There is another important reason you should not ask, “do I have a date?” Even if I have one, there is no such thing as a guarantee in the military. Big things (like 9/11) can interfere. Even little things, like VIP visits or unexpected airplane maintainance, can delay a return. Not only do I need to protect my children from being disappointed by the “needs of the military,” but frankly I need to protect myself from that too. So don’t ask me zero in on a certain day. Okay?
Okay. Perhaps now you are thinking, well, cripes. What am I allowed to say, that won’t offend your mysterious milspouse sensitivities?
I’ve got a list for that too. Things you should say to military spouses:
1. “How are you doing?” Simple, I know. It may even sound impersonal, but remember that if you know my husband is deployed, you will say it with an intonation that says, “have the kids driven you crazy yet?”
2. “How are the kids doing?” This may also sound impersonal, but it’s just another way of asking whether they are driving me crazy.
3. “Is there anything I can do to help you?” This is a vague offer of help, so it is not ideal, but I’ll take it in a pinch. It might be that I was wishing the younger child didn’t have to come along to a soccer game, and I’ll say, yes. Can you look after younger son for a few hours? So don’t ask unless you mean it.
4. “If there is any time when you need help, please let me know.” This is the invitation to call you, should I ever need to take one child to the ER in the middle of the night. I am not likely to take you up on this offer, but still. I’m glad you offered. It’s reassuring to know you can leave the healthy child with someone if you really have to.
5. “Would you like to do ____ with us this weekend?” One of the primary objectives of a military spouse during deployment is keeping busy. Time goes by faster when you are busy. Getting lots of invitations helps us keep busy. So thanks. Whether it is a church function, a sleepover, a day at the beach, or a trip to Walt Disney World, I am glad to have the opportunity. Thanks for asking me!
6. “Would you like me to take your sons to ____ activity? You don’t have to come along.” The answer is yes yes YES! I do want you to take my sons to ____ activity! And I do want to stay home! This kind of offer makes you a sort of platinum level milspouse supporter. Just in case you were wondering how to score a home run with your local military family.
Well, that’s about it. In case you were wondering, yes. Every single one of the items listed have actually occurred. If it is negative then no, it wasn’t you. It was someone else.
Please do click over to read it.
I will be getting back to additional posts here, soon. And also visiting my fellow bloggers.
Part of the problem has been the fact my email notifications stopped coming. Without the email prompt, my OCD-like need to sort didn’t get triggered. Instead, my procrastinating tendencies set in, and my Instant Gratification Monkey kept leading me elsewhere. Like to the WaitButWhy blog.
I got on my reader and found that notifications were for some reason blocked. I unchecked that box and hope to get my email box filled again soon.
I really regret my lack of posting. Even worse is my complete lack of blog socialization. I haven’t been around to see my blog buddies in some time now. Please accept my humblest apologies, and don’t give up on me.
My schedule will quit hitting critical mass soon. Surely. Soccer season will end. Projects will get finished. My bronchitis will finally. go. away.
And I have news. Da Tech Guy was kind enough to invite me to guest post on his blog, every Monday. Here is my first post. Come on over and have a look-see! I am one of seven new guest bloggers, each likened to a character from the Magnificent Seven. Which I guess means I should probably watch the movie or something.
I’ll have to put that on my schedule.
Hope you are all well. I am on the mend, happily, because as we all know about bronchitis . . . ain’t nobody got time f’dat.
I’ve adapted Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem for the current Obamacare debacle. I didn’t have to change much.
Have a happy Halloween! Give out lots of candy, and maybe eat some too. That’s my plan, anyway.
Over a quaint and curious bill from the Congress floor,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
‘Tis some voter,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door—
Only this, and nothing more.’
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate lying member wrought his fate upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; —vainly I had sought to borrow
From our kids an end of sorrow—sorrow for the uninsured—
For the rare and radiant victim whom the angels name ‘uninsured’—
Named Julia now for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each typing person
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic power never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
‘Tis some voter beginning the process to enroll—
Some late voter beginning the process to enroll—
This it is, and nothing more.
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
‘Sir,’ said I, ‘or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was golfing, and so gently you came protesting,
And so faintly you came congregating, here at my DC mall,
That I scarce was sure I heard you’—here I opened wide the door—
Disapproval there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, ‘enroll!’
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, ‘enroll!’
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
‘Surely,’ said I, ‘surely that is someone at the enrollment process;
Let me see then, what they have done, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this glitchy site endure—
‘Tis a bump in the road and nothing more!’
And now I brung the teleprompter, with many a pomp and flutter,
In stepped a supporter of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my teleprompter—
Perched near a bust of Churchill just below my teleprompter—
Perched and sat, and nothing more.
Then this racist bloke beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance he wore,
‘Though thy crest be shorn and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth this taxpayer, ‘Nevermore.’
Much I marveled this ungainly fool to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing a conservative who was not a fool—
Man or beast above the sculptured bust above his teleprompter,
With such name as, ‘Nevermore.’
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy Koch brother whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
But the voter still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of him and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous fool of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous patriot of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fool whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
Liberty shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,’ I cried, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of voters!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget the lost voters!’
Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if fool or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest-tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore -
Is there – is there universal care? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’
Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’
`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if fool or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Utopia,
It shall clasp a sainted class whom the angels name supporter -
Clasp a rare and radiant class, whom the angels name supporter?’
Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’
`Be that word our sign of parting, fool or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tailgate and the Texas rough neck shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my arrogance unbroken! – quit your perch near my teleprompter!
Take thy dagger from out my heart, and take thy form away from my teleprompter!’
Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’
And the taxpayer, never working, still is sitting, still is sitting
Near the pallid bust of Churchill just above my teleprompter;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!