While Andy’s off in D.C. meeting lots of new people and consuming all the bagels and pizza he can manage, back in Benin, life for Flynn and me continues on like much before. I go to work. Flynn heads to play dates and the beach with his nanny. He goes to bed too late and wakes up too early. He demands cookies for breakfast. “Mommy, no Cheerios,” he says. “Cookie me please!” Depending on how early he wakes up and how tired this makes me, sometimes I cookie him. We watch Disney Junior and swing and slide and read lots and lots of books, mostly featuring animals and cars and airplanes. We live right by the airport and run to the window to wave “bye bye airplane people” to every plane that takes off all day long.
I hunkered down expecting to weather a very lonely and depressing patch until my tour is up this summer, but so far things have gone a little better than feared. We miss Andy, of course, but the house has been far from empty. We lost one but gained three: Flynn’s nanny is staying over for a while to help out, and her two teenage kids are with her. They’re some of Flynn’s very favorite people in the world. He chases them around demanding high fives and piggy back rides. “Up me,” he says. It’s a little bit of an adjustment for me having others here all the time. Maybe I shouldn’t be watching so many gory true crime TV shows with impressionable youngsters around, for instance. But overall it’s been a positive change.
Spending six months apart was never something we wanted for our family, but we’re hoping it’ll go better than feared and be worth it in the end. At the very least, there are enough small things to look forward to along the way to distract us. Getting Andy’s bid list was a big day. Right now our future is still very much up in the air, but we really couldn’t have hoped for a bid list with more potential possibilities for us. We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to go somewhere together next. We should know in about a month. Immediately from Andy’s Flag Day, where he learns his assignment, he’ll hop on a plane to meet us in Europe for a weekend. Then my Mom’s coming to Benin for a month. By the time she leaves I’ll really be in the twilight of my tour.
Is it going to be the best six months we’ve ever had? Well, no. But we’ll make it.