The bag packing is unavoidable.
Camouflage stuff has decorated our bedroom for the past several weeks.
Strange, strange gear overflows from these bags.
He asked me last night if the kids had been playing with his new leatherman.
I didn't even know he had a knife in his bag. No wonder Noah's been spending a lot of time in my closet. He's been playing with all daddy's "toys."
Normally laid back and fun-loving, it's generally easy to get my husband in a good mood.
I just turn on some charm--crack a few jokes--and VOILA! He's over the "tude."
Apparently that charm does not work on deployment stress.
I thought I'd help him pack.
You know, bonding.
I picked up an over-sized ziploc bag that was filled with tiny rolls of his underwear.
Certainly worthy of a joke.
"I like the way you have these pairs of underwear rolled up in tiny, neat rolls. I hope you can get them unrolled once you get there."
Not funny. He didn't even raise his eyes.
Just to add insult, he asks me to make sure all the air is out of the underwear ziploc bag so it will lay flat. I work twenty minutes on this task. I hand him the perfectly flat bag of underwear.
He sighs. "There's still some air."
He then spends another five minutes trying to get out this imaginary puff of air that he thinks is still in the bag. "Got it," he says. (Is he serious? I think he is.)
Then he proceeds to throw a big pile (unfolded) of gym shorts on top of the air-free bag of underwear.
"Good thing you got that small breath of air out of that bag or your big, WAD of shorts would never have fit." Not even a glance. Still not funny.
Weird, weird things emerge as he weighs what to take and what not to take.
A Darth Vader mask.
How can you not do the slow breathing in and out simulating classic Darth Vader?
I thought it fit the moment. Bad read.
"This is a gas mask, Michelle."
Then I catch him trying on a pair of goggles---camouflage goggles.
I'm from Colorado. This is easy. He's clearly going to have a day off in Afghanistan to ski. I know ski goggles when I see them.
"These are for the sandstorms."
How was I supposed to know that?
I called his G-suit a harness.
I handed him his harness when he needed his G-suit.
They are the same color. Easy mistake.
Aside from the fact they don't look anything alike. It was time for the G-suit/harness lesson.
Don't you want to know the difference?
The G-suit helps squeeze their legs to keep blood flowing to their heads so they don't pass out when pulling G's. Yes, please take the G-suit.
The harness. The beautiful harness. I forgot how important the harness really is.
It straps him into the airplane. In the event of ejection, the harness ensures you eject with a paracute on. Pretty crucial if survival is your goal. Definitely, more important than anything else he's packing. Take two harnesses if possible.
The final, final blow to my packing efforts came when he had me open a pack of government issued lip balm.
This was going to be a sweet and tender moment.
I rubbed my lips on the lip balm and said, "Now, everytime you use this lip balm, you can envision I'm giving you a kiss." So lame. Surely worthy of a smile.
I didn't get a smile, but he did look up and raise his eyebrows. I think I saw a hint of my husband somewhere in that eyebrow raising.
Really, he's sort of already deployed. Already over "there" mentally. It would make sense that he would need to leave mentally before he leaves physically.
How else could he get on the plane and watch his family waving goodbye? How could he do that unless he was already sort of gone?
Let's get this thing started.
Go! Go, so I can get my husband back.