Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just Us Girls

Military spouses, especially those with children have a tough job...a few actually. The first being a parent, the second being married to their husband and their jobs, and the third acting as and having the responsibility of both parents while one is deployed. All of the Navy spouses I know are women, but the Navy husbands must have it tough as well. They may be able to accomplish more household projects, but when it comes to the kids, usually they go to their moms to be comforted or consoled. Well when mom is deployed dad has to take on that task.

It's just us girls. Bob left today for the summer. As we bid farewell to him, Yokosuka bids farewell to the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). She is being replaced here by the USS George Washington (CVN 73) later in the summer and will be only forward deployed aircraft-carrier. Bob will be cross decking from the K.H. to the G.W., while the K.H. families will leave here this summer and meet their sailors in Virginia where the K.H. will be preparing for decommissioning.

Anyway, getting back to my point. There are a lot of things that we as women and Navy spouses must do while our husbands are gone. Whether we can do it or not doesn't really matter, because it has to be done. If I don't know how to do something or can't figure something out, I'll call a friend or neighbor to help. We have a tight community here, and that's exactly what we all need. In Hawaii I had a lot of friends, and was close with our neighbors. We're still fairly new here, but I've gotten close to a few wives, and have met a couple of neighbors. One friend has already left for Monterey, CA and another will be gone most of the summer. Surprise, I got side tracked yet again! I was talking about things I'll be doing while Bob is gone...not because I want to, but because I have to. I'm talking about things that are stereotyped as "Men's Jobs."

Tasks as simple as taking out the trash or mowing the lawn (thankfully we're responsibly only for our fenced in back yard and it's smaller than my parents' deck), to moving furniture, maintaining the cars, using power tools, assembling coat racks (I speak from experience on that one) and changing the propane tank on the grill. When Bob's gone I've got to roll up my sleeves, get the job done and not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help if needed. Ya know, thinking about that reminds me of Rosie the Riveter. You know, the WWII poster made famous when the women went to work and the men went off to war. Next time I'm having to turn off the water valve to the toilet to unclog the rolls on toilet paper Sydney attempted to stuff down there, go to the community shed to borrow the weed whacker and trim the back yard, kill bugs/spiders, pump gas or even bring the car for an oil change, I'm going to envision that poster in my mind.

Today I'm allowing us to sulk and feel sorry for ourselves, but come tomorrow morning we're starting fresh. We've got the next few months to ourselves. Tomorrow I'll put my towel on the hook where Bob's is leaving me room for my robe on the other hook. I'll be able to sleep in the middle of the bed and get a good night's sleep since it'll be quiet and I won't hear his snoring. I'll have 1/4 less laundry to clean and fold, less dishes to wash and no black lint on the floor from his socks. His backpack won't be blocking the front door and neither will his steel-toed work boots. I'll take his toothbrush and put it at the back of the holder and when I wash clothes later today I'll fold them and put his away in the drawers.

Tonight I'll let Keanna put a big "X" through today's date on the calendar, and tomorrow will be Sydney's turn. They can alternate every day until the day before his return on the G.W. They know he's gone, and they know he's on the ship. They have no concept of time, so I told them dad will be gone on the ship, and we sing the song, "My Daddy is over the ocean/My daddy is over the sea/My daddy is over the ocean/So bring back my daddy to me." When he was attached to the sub in Hawaii we'd sing the same song, but it would go, "My daddy is under the ocean...." The girls have a picture of Bob in a frame on the nighstand between their beds, and tonight will be the first of many that they kiss the picture goodnight.

Shortly before we left Hawaii he returned from a deployment that was four days short of seven months. Hopefully this summer deployment will be a cakewalk compared to that one. At least with the "Surface Navy" there are phone calls, email attachments (ahem, pictures) and even receipt of emails within hours or minutes of sending them...not days or weeks like with submarines.

So sayonara to my husband and the USS Kitty Hawk. We'll miss you!
Thanks to Della for the K.H. photos from this morning!


Jackie said...

LOLOL...that's funny..."My Daddy is under the ocean..." I'll have to remember that :-)