The Forecast in Baghdad
Dear Friends and Family,
Happy 4th of July.
We are in Panama City right now, enjoying a few days of relaxation on Caleb’s last few days of leave before the guys (i.e. the unit) start their crazy summer training schedule. And when I say crazy, I mean, CALEB’S CALENDAR IS FILLED UNTIL THE END OF OCTOBER crazy! Now you know why we’re taking a vacation on possibly the worst weekend of the summer. Crazy, I tell you! And just in case you were wondering why I’m blogging instead of drinking lemonade and squishing my toes in the sand, I assure you I wasn’t crazy enough to bring the computer to the beach with me. This post is coming to you, via auto-posting, thanks to a cool blogger feature. Isn’t technology fabulous?
Where was I? Oh yeah.
Despite the distances, I truly feel we are united today in celebration of our independence. I want to take the opportunity to share with you a new chapter in our lives and the adventure our family will be embarking on in a few months.
Last week I was sitting in the kitchen watching Caleb fiddle with his phone. Turns out he was updating his weather app – a cool feature we both have which automatically gives you a seven day forecast for each city you program in. Along with the usual cities he frequents (Smiths, Opelika, and Columbus), he’d added one more – Baghdad.
It was a simple, mostly meaningless act, but one that impacted me more than I realized at the time. You see, every morning I wake up and I hug my kids, and then I check the weather. Seeing the temperature forecast for our town lets me know if the boys and I are headed to the park or, if the weather is bad, to the library. I also like to see what kind of conditions Caleb is likely to encounter while running around the track during his workout.
My weather app is such a mundane part of my morning routine that it seemed ridiculous when I spent several days thinking about adding Baghdad to the list of cities I monitor. Let’s see. I didn’t bat an eye when I was tutored through changing a tire on the RAV. I didn’t have a panic attack when I realized I’d be mowing 1/2 an acre of hill once a week for an entire summer. I no longer have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hear the word “deployment”. Why, then, should I resist adding Baghdad to my weather app?
The answer, of course, is that in my mind it signified coming to terms with reality, accepting it, and moving forward – something I’d thought I’d done several months ago. The reality is that I am an Army wife, and I understand that means being proud of the sacrifices my husband makes for his country. I understand that service sometimes means being deployed to a foreign land. I understand that my husband will perform his duty proudly even though it takes him far away from his family…
And me? Well, I’ll wake up every morning and I’ll hug my kids twice, saying “This one’s from me, and this one’s from Daddy!”
And I’ll check the forecast in Baghdad.