Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bubba and Bubba's Wife have brought the family for a visit, and the three nieces are quite vocal. They could be the voices behind an album entitled "The Three Sopranos: The Jazz Project", in which Niece #1 provides percussion with her angst-ridden stomping up and down the hallway; Niece #2 offers the toddler equivalent of improvisational riffs in the form of random, sometimes-unintelligible commentary; and infant Niece #3 has the pipes for belting out amazing (and endless) solos.

I'm operating on Day 3 of about four hours of sleep per night, but part of the fault lies with my own irresponsibility: staying up too late to spend time with B and BW after the kids are asleep. We adults are a bit groggy and snappish -- and there's still a week and a half left.

Saturday, nobody better wake me up before noon!

Still, a week and a half is not enough time. We recently learned that Bubba is headed to Afghanistan for a year, news that sets everyone on edge, inspires additional prayers, changes the way we look at the future. Despite the dangers, though, there is opportunity for learning, experience, even adventure. How many times do we miss opportunity because it looks scary? Maybe risk is just what we need.

So we prepare ourselves to let him leave. We pray for his safety and for our peace; for those with whom he will serve, and for those too young to understand why Daddy doesn't come home every night. Bubba and I have been those kids whose father was gone for long stretches of time, but we can't transfer our knowledge to little minds. After all, the best-learned lessons are often the ones we experience for ourselves, and there are journeys we make alone. Even if someone walks beside us, our own feet must carry us.

May they carry us forward to strength, to peace, to joyful reunions.

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