We are now one week into this 10 month deployment. Above is the big vase of Daddy's jellybeans, minus 14 of them that have been consumed. The girls each get one of Daddy's jellybeans every day until he comes home. That is a LOT of jellybeans! Trying to explain to Delaney how long her daddy was going to be gone was impossible. First, I tried telling her that it was going to get warmer and warmer out until it was summer and her birthday, than cooler until it was fall (and Halloween), then colder until it was Christmas and New Year's, and then Daddy would be home soon after that. But since she doesn't really think about seasons and holidays happening in any kind of order, this did not help her understand. Then I remembered a friend's suggestion of a jar of jellybeans. A couple nights before Tim left I painstakingly counted out enough jellybeans for her and her sister to each have one a day for 10 months. They filled this big old vase. Now I tell her Daddy will be home when the jellybeans are all gone. That makes much more sense to her. Annie doesn't really care, she just likes jellybeans. I like that they get something sweet every day to remind them of him.
So far we're doing well. Tim has email for now, and his own computer, so I hear from him a few times a day. He really misses home, but he's adjusting to life on the ship. We're keeping fairly busy, and we've been out a lot in the nice weather. We're looking forward to our vacation with my family in Florida the third week of May.
From time to time, the girls will see Tim's truck when we pull in the driveway and say, "Dada!" Then we talk about why his truck is in the driveway, but he's not home. I say there's no room on the ship for anyone to bring their cars, and besides, there's nowhere to drive on a ship. I don't think they get sad about him not being here, but sometimes in the evening, Delaney seems extra whiny and needy around the time he'd be home, and I think that's her missing him. I think we're all feeling his absence in our own way. I sometimes get whiny in the evenings too. I'm still at the point where I'm overwhelmed by how long 10 months is. I'm sad for the girls about how long they will be without him, because they don't know any better. I just keep telling him how much he misses them, and we read his recordable storybook, and of course they have their Daddy Dolls.
I am going to be glad when that vase doesn't have so many jellybeans in it.