The good news is that with this post, I am finally caught up on all my blogging! The bad news is that this post is about saying goodbye again - so soon.
So we sent Chris on his way this afternoon. I was successful at maintaining a state of denial right up to the end. Clara had a few panicky moments in the last week or 2 when she'd realize Chris was going to be gone soon and she would turn into a monster child, rivaling those you see on Nanny 911. I'm sure Chris is enjoying his downtime from that now...and now that he has left and the mere 'threat' of him leaving is gone with him, Clara can get back to normal, keeping busy with our summer activities. We have a similar line up to the one we had last year, because it worked so well to keep us busy and happy. We will be finishing up dance class, and going to zoo camp, swim lessons and gymnastics all over the summer. Not to mention visits from grandparents and a new baby by summer's end! Once again, potty training Jonathan is on my list of goals to achieve while Chris away.
Jonathan understands that Daddy will be 'at work' for a long time, but having no real concept of time, he hardly seems phased by it all. Clara started crying as soon as Chris got out of the car to walk into work, it was difficult to watch her little heart break. Jonathan saw her cry and so now anytime she mentions that she misses Daddy - no matter her tone, Jonathan asks in the most sympathetic of tones, "Are you OK, Sissy? Are you gonna cry?" It's precious to see him worry about her.
I, of course, cried too -- Right at the end, hugging Chris goodbye. He stayed strong as he does, but I could tell he was no more looking forward to this time away than we were. So everyone just keep Chris and his friends in your prayers -- that they keep each other safe, that they do their jobs as they've been called to do and make it back home to their families in 4-5 months, that they never doubt that their families are thinking about them in all they do, missing them in good times and bad, and proudly standing behind them until the very end.