Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I've Gotta Go

It was quiet in my house two days ago...like, happily quiet. And not the three-seconds-before-screaming-and-tattling-quiet, but actual calm, playing in the same room while I wrote q.u.i.e.t. Right as it dawned on me that it was happening, Happy said, "Mom, I gotta go!"

Which instantly springs me into action. Because unless that kid is wearing clothes made of tear-away fabric, I have about nine seconds to help him get undressed and to the bathroom. Why? Why does he do this? Why is a simple trip to the potty predicated upon a mad dash to strip and haul (naked) a$$ across the house to the bathroom? Is there a pee-wee league for College Streaking or something that he signed up for?

I'm pretty sure that, like most things, it's my fault. I think I yell "I GOTTA GO!" about sixty-eight times a day. To school, to preschool, to attempt to get off the phone, to try and get out of the driveway, to get someone out of the bathroom who is sitting on the pot but really just playing with certain action figures because that's the only place where someone's brother can't come in and take away certain action figures. Plus, I always think if you sit there too long, well...you just shouldn't sit there that long. We're talking Parade Magazine length of time is sufficient, not the op/ed page of the Sunday New York Times.

[Editor's Note: You know, while I'm on that for a moment. Men, when you take the section of the newspaper into the loo for 20 minutes, I don't care if there's a nude picture of George Clooney in there. I. Do. Not. Want. That. Section. Back. I'm sure you washed and all, but...just no. How about taking in the Sports or Automotive pages, OK? Or one I've already finished reading. Just not the classifieds. That's research. - Kate]

The point is, you call 'I gotta go', you basically have called dibs on the schedule for the next fifteen minutes. It's like Shotgun, but for the toilet, or karate, or Girl Scouts. It's almost like calling "ACTION!" in a movie. Someone says it, and everyone else starts moving. Well, everyone except for one person...

Two nights ago, McLovin is trapped in the center ring that is the Circus of our House and the only thing we're missing is flying monkeys and poo and he says, "Umm, guys. Looks like I gotta go."

And then everything stopped. The boys were smashing open Bakugans. McGee was in the middle of a screeching lovely clarinet rendition of -- of -- something that I'm sure was a song at one point. I was in the middle of dinner. Actually I was pouring a glass of wine. Semantics...

"Umm, guys. Looks like I gotta go..."

Again-istan. Again.

McGee: When?
McLovin: Friday.
McGee: What?! What about the Halloween thing?
McLovin: I'm sorry. You can still go with Mommy.
Happy: You're going to Again-istan? Again? No Daddy. No.
McLovin: Just for a while buddy.
McGee: How long?
McLovin: Until they don't need me to be there.
Lefty: So, other people get to come home now?
McLovin: Yep.
Lefty: Well, they'll be happy. And maybe we wouldn't be so sad if they just wouldn't shoot people over there.

His bag is set up in our closet - again. And all the travel stuff is out on the countertops. Again. And it's written up on our calendar in the kitchen. And we all know that nothing is really happening until it's written on the calendar in the kitchen. They stood there and stared at me while I wrote it. It's a long f**king word. It takes up a whole week of squares just to write it.

Lefty came to me last night and wanted to know how far away it is. We looked it up. It's 6,930 miles away. But this is what we saw when we typed it into Google:


Lefty read it out loud. "We could not cal - cal -cu- late -- what does calculate mean?" I told him it meant add it all up. He kept reading, "...calculate directions between Washington D-C and Kabul, Again-istan. They can't tell us?! It's so far they can't tell us how far it is??"

And then he deflated. When he was little, he and McGee loved that song "How Far is Heaven?" by the Los Lonely Boys. They'd sing along and then ask how many planes away were places they'd been. Boston? One plane. Texas? Two planes. The fun beach? Three planes and Mommy's not so happy when they arrive and then Papa gives her a pina colada. Heaven was two hundred planes. Too many to try and take until you were old and ready. And everyone you love is there waiting for you.

He asked me how many planes it was. I told him it was just two, but he didn't like that answer.

"Again-istan is like ten million planes and no one you love is there."

Yes there is baby. McLovin is there. And we love him a lot.

On Friday, he's gotta go.  We'll spend the next two days imagining him on planes.  We'll spend the next several weeks (oh please God weeks and not months) praying we'll get the call that he's coming home.  I'll try my best not to let The Fear keep me from taking care of everything while he's gone.  I'll think of all the other families who are praying for the safe return of those they can't live without.  And how places like Again-istan are actually only two planes away and are filled with people we love.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

61 comments:

  1. Hope that it is not too many sleeps until McLovin is back home taking the paper to the loo ... and that he never goes back there 'again'
    xxx

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  2. I'm so sorry. Also-Thank you to each one of you for supporting McLovin and to McLovin for his sacrifices. (((virtual hug)))

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  3. I'm sorry to hear you'll be separated again. My dad was career army, so we did that a little bit, but not as much as your family.

    I know it's not much, but we'll be here cheering you all on (both fronts: home and away) until he's home safe.

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  4. Well, crap. Sorry Kate. That sucks. Tap a t-box for me, babe. And fill a Whuck?! mug with it to drink from. It merits the bigger non-juice-box size I think. And rock on McLovin. Hang in there and get your butt home. Good luck trying to improve on your last entrance though! I still get the misty giggles when I think of Kate's "F*ck!" in the middle of mass. I'll be praying for you.

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  5. {{{hugs}}} I'm sorry he's gotta go... again. My brother is Navy and is "going" in December for 9 months... my cousin is Army, front line medic... is "going" next month for 12-18 months. We'll hope and pray that all our guys are home safe and sound soon.

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  6. I'm sorry for your separation. My husband just returned from his 4th tour and will probably be going on his 5th after we PCS in December. The kids always take it so hard.

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  7. Thanks so much for your sacrifice. My family truly appreciates it. I will be praying for all of you and will look forward to his safe return.

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  8. he can say "hi" to my husband who is there as well. he just left from R&R on sunday so we have 6-8 more months.
    i completely feel ya on this...

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  9. Your family's burden might be lessened were we citizens of the US to admit to the unfairness of the current mercenary military, which allows the vast majority to gossip and shop while endlessly shipping out our professional warriors. Had we a draft and/or universal conscription, the protest and resistance would be such that such adventures as Afstan/Iraq wars would have long ago been stopped cold.

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  10. wow, i just found your blog recently and this is my first comment . . . your post brought me to tears for you and your family. i'm sorry he has to go again and i'm sorry for your family's separation. praying that it is weeks and not months as well. thank you and your husband and family for your sacrifices on behalf of all of us.

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  11. Thanks, McLovin...take care and be well. We'll keep an eye on Kate and the kids....xoxxox, Maine

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  12. Didn't he JUST get back?! Sigh. Thank you to him for his hard work and sacrifice. And thanks to you for being so strong! You are Supermom!

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  13. Godspeed, McLovin.

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  14. I'm try to figure out how to tell my 4 year old that her Daddy is going back to Iraq.... again. Thanks for making me laugh, cry and feel a little less alone!

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  15. Oh, man, that stinks all around. Hang in there, Kate. Safe journeys to McLovin. Hugs to the kids.

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  16. Oh Jesus. Be safe McLovin!
    Hang in there momma *hugs*

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  17. I'm so sorry he has to go again! Here's hoping it won't be for long. Thank you and Lydia for such a wonderful blog-- it makes my day!

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  18. Wow, I'm so sorry Kate. I thank God for people like your husband who go over there to keep us safe. I thank God for families like yours who are strong enough to send them over there "again". Be strong Kate, he and your entire family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  19. Oh, sweetie. There just aren't enough words. We are here for you...xoxox

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  20. Damn Again-istan! This sucks monkey balls. I will pray that it is weeks and not months before McLovin' has to top that grand entrance of his and that you don't lose your schmidt and bust a cap in some IHP's. ;) Sending love, thoughts, and prayers your way. (On a ridiculously minuscule positive note: at least you get to finish the classifieds!)

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  21. Kate, you are a strong woman. Give McLovin a big hug and tell him thank you for me! Blessings on your family.

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  22. Thank you to both of you. McLovin may be the one leaving, but Kate, you're as brave a soldier as he is. Praying he -- and everybody else -- aren't needed.

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  23. Crying & praying for you guys (& everyone over there) in my Mental Health class. Kinda apropos, actually.

    Sending hugs. Bringing wine.
    xo, Dag

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  24. I needed a box of Kleenex for this post and all of it's link-backs. Prayers for safe travels and a speedy return!

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  25. HUGE (((HUGS))) I can totally relate to this post, my hubby is in the same "field of work" so has to go to the same places. Not nice either side of it really. I hope McLovin gets back to you all safe and sound soon!

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  26. tears flowing, can't see the keyboard clearly. Hugs, sweet lady to you and yours.

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  27. Thank you McLovin' and Fam for your sacrifices...prayers and love are being sent...no matter how many plane rides we may all be apart.

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  28. Oh, Kate. I'm so sorry! I remember last time. Sending you love and hugs and prayers.

    xo -El

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  29. I'm sorry. Thank you for writing this to remind some of us who don't live your reality (your spouse goes on different business trips than I'm used to) and thank him for doing it. Safe travels.

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  30. So, so sorry Kate and McLovin. Can't even imagine what you and your children are feeling right now. Hope he is home safe and sound very soon. All you military families are way stronger than I. I am praying for you and thinking of you and am so grateful for your courage and sacrifice. God bless you.

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  31. I'm sorry to hear that, Kate. We are so thankful to McLovin and the other men and women in uniform who make these sacrifices for our country. Regardless of our views about the war, I believe we need to support our troops as well as their families. The families sacrifice, too, as you have demonstrated.

    When my husband is gone even a WEEK for business, it makes me want to sell my children, pull out all my hair and shuffle off to a quiet cave somewhere. I can't even imagine what you go through when he's gone.

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  32. I'm sad and terrified for you. I hope he returns home quickly and safely. I hope all of the McLovins return home quickly and safely.

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  33. great writing with great emotion and great authenticity. So wish it was never necessary.
    safe travels for you and yours.

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  34. Maybe he'll see my husband there - he's leaving for "leaders' recon" in a few days before the actual 12 month deployment. Let's hope they all make it back safely.

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  35. Thanks to you both, and to your children, for your sacrifice.

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  36. So very sorry. Crying now. Big prayers coming your way.

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  37. Sitting here at work and crying a little at this post and all of the linkbacks. I pray for your husband, your family, and all the families like yours where mom or dad have to say "I gotta go" from time to time, and dash off to protect us all. Godspeed, and thank you, McLovin'.

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  38. I was gonna make a joke about "pee-wee leagues" for bathroom trips and then...

    It just ain't funny any more.

    So sorry to hear this news. As a Navy wife (retired, thank the gods) I know where you're at right now -- and you are not alone! You are all in my heart.

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  39. I love you.
    & McLovin, duh, & the IHPs... but I kinda love you the most.
    & even though you KNOW I love you & I KNOW you love me back (whether you flipping like it or NOT), I feel the urge to remind you of that love. & that I am always here, always around, to help you out as much as I can.
    So when you need a break from the kids, let's lock them in the basement & enjoy a T-Box together... deal?
    Just kidding. That'd be irresponsible. We'll just lock them in their rooms. :)

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  40. Oh, Kate. I'm in tears. Dangit, woman you had me laughing and crying in the same 3 minutes. I think I have emotional whiplash. Prayers going out for McLovin, against THE FEAR, and an extra dose of grace cause your sanity is gonna need it.

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  41. Oh, what an awesomely sucky post! I'm so sorry that he has to go back, but this was such good writing - I'm not often moved to tears but you do have the touch :> :<

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  42. I just saw you this morning at drop off and thought 'what a brave-great-wonder mom'. It's not just the huge things that you face well but the fact that you cheered up your son today with a brilliant smile on your face.

    The stalker-ish invitation still stands and any mommy-helper dates you want covered.

    Love, Lady Madonna Darling and some other pseudonym I forgot.

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  43. Aw, I'm sorry Kate. I hope he's there for a very, very short time. Even better, I hope he gets there and someone goes "What are you doing here? No, no, we wanted the OTHER McLovin'. You go on home now, and here's a million bucks for your troubles. Get your wife some new Choos."

    You are amazing. ((hugs))

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  44. Thank-you, McLovin, for your service to our country.

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  45. Folks shouldn't have to go multiple tours when other folks keep volunteering and apparently "aren't needed at this time."

    I'm sure that doesn't help at all. I'm sorry you are separated from your sweetie again.

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  46. In my hormonal pregnant state this post made me bawl. I am sorry he has to go. Its the sucky part of loving a soldier. (I know I love one, too.) But I think once you've been through this sort of thing, every time you hear about someone else going through it, your heart breaks a little for them.
    At least you have Lydia (and T-boxes) to keep you sane.

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  47. This made me cry, Kate. I am so sorry for you and the kids. I hope he is not gone long.

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  48. Thank goodness I can type a comment instead of having to say it as the lump in my throat wouldn't allow sound right now. I am so sorry that McLovin has to go Again and that you and your IHP's have to go through this again. I hope and pray that this tour is short and he comes home safe and sound. You are a family of great courage and bravery as are all the others experiencing the same thing. Thank you!

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  49. I got teary reading this. Thoughts are with you, hubby, and the kids. I just can't imagine. God bless you all!

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  50. You have tons of support here - I know what you're going through. My hubbin over here is reenlisting in a different branch and the possibility of deployment is evident. It's nerve-wracking for us ladies especially when we have little people to take care of. Just know that we're all here to help keep you up and soon, you can start the count down to when he comes home and you won't be looking towards the date of his departure to leave. That's how I always looked at it and it made it more bearable.

    G-d Speed McLovin' And thank you for all you do!

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  51. Ack, that's twice in a little over an hour that you have reduced me to tears! I started reading you two a couple weeks ago, and decided to go back to the verrry beginning and read them in order. About an hour ago I read the one when he came home from Again-istan, to the church..and I CRIED the ugly happy tears when I saw the picture of him and Happy..and now an hour later I'm crying them again, but with sadness. I wish my Target sold T-boxes now!

    Good luck, McLovin!

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  52. Come home soon and safely, McLovin.

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  53. This post totally broke me down... it may have something to do with the pregnancy hormones. :) My hubby will be leaving on his first tour in a few months and I'm due 3 days after he leaves. I'm not quite sure how to tell our 2 year old daughter that her daddy is leaving. I pray that McLovin' comes home safely and soon.

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  54. i can't add to what everyone else has said, but i still hate it! my cousin's on his 3rd and is set to come in december. hope the time FLIES by for everyone!

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  55. I just found your blog today with a link from SDL. I am so sorry to hear about your military separation. I thank McLovin and your family for the sacrifice you are all making when he "Gotta go to "again-stan" God bless you all

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  56. My sweet hubby left on Thursday w/only 1 week's notice for training in NJ and he'll get to come home again sometime in Nov to then leave again in Jan for Iraq. We've done 1 deployment before and know how hard it is being away from your sweetheart. Praying he comes home safe and soon.

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  57. I know it is almost a year later (I hope he is home by now I will keep reading. Started from blog number one.....anyhow)

    This had tears rolling down my face. Thank you and your wonderful, fantasic family. You pulled at my heartstrings. I hope I read about his homecoming really soon!

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