In early January when Mary was only 20 days old, Miles moved to Savannah, Georgia where he signed in to a new unit and got his fifth free airline ticket to Afghanistan. His unit was already deployed, but thanks to Mary's timing, he was able to remain in Texas for her birth and deploy a little later. Because he was set to deploy as soon as he arrived in Georgia, we decided it made the most sense for me to stay near our family and friends who live in Texas. I'm so glad we did that too - because while it was a fairly short deployment, it was so nice to live near so many supportive and helpful friends. It was nice for Finn to have the people he knew nearby (especially his cousins who are his best buddies) and to stick to his usual routine in the midst of a new baby arriving and his daddy leaving.
About a month ago Miles returned home from his deployment. Mary and I flew out to Georgia to welcome him back and to house hunt while Finn remained in Texas with my mom (who was on her spring break) and later his Aunt Jenny who looked after him until I returned.
I'm not going to lie - it was nice to get away for a little bit and for me to miss Finn for a few days. Mary and I got to Savannah two days before Miles arrived so it was nice for us to have time together and nice to just not have to worry about taking the toddler to the bathroom, putting him down for naps, putting him in timeout when he got sassy, making meals, giving baths, laundry, cleaning, playing, etc. Being a single parent for a few months with an infant and a toddler just got a little exhausting at times. I fully realize that it could be much worse - and Miles was only gone for a short time, but it still is just draining and I have crazy respect for the single parents who do it day in and day!
We decided it was best to just tell Finn that I was going to Georgia to look for a new house (since I was!) and leave out the part about Daddy coming home. I didn't want him to think that Mary got to go see Daddy, but he had to stay put - that would have been hard for him.
While the trip was a quick one, Mary and I were thrilled that we could be there when Miles returned:
After the weekend, I flew back home with Mary while Miles inprocessed back with his unit and waited until they were on block leave to return to Texas and help us move.
A little over a week ago Miles arrived back home. His flight got delayed (because of course) so instead of bringing Finn to the airport with me to pick Miles up, I put him to sleep at his cousins house where he would wake up the next day to his Daddy being home. When he did wake up the next morning (nearly two hours earlier than usual!) he was a bit confused as to what was going on. I took him to the bathroom and told him I had a surprise for him. I asked, "do you want your surprise?" to which he replied "uh huh" and I told him Daddy was home and we walked around the corner to see Miles waiting there for him. He just kind of stood there and stared at him for a minute trying to process it all. But within no time he was bringing Miles books and climbing all over him and has been his shadow ever since.
It's so sweet that he loves his daddy so much, but a little heartbreaking to know that he's worried about Miles leaving him again. Just something we will need to prep him for later this year when deployment #6 rolls around (sigh).
The other not-so-sweet side of it is that he wants nothing to do with me anymore! He wants Dadda to read the books and sit next to him. He wants Dadda to hold his hand and put him to bed at night. Don't worry kid, I only did everything for you for the last four months, I don't need a little love or anything you ungrateful jerk!
All kidding aside, Finn has always been a Daddy's boy and I'm glad that despite a (short) deployment, he still totally is.