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Promises and Pressures

July 27, 2011

“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you”

Before Delta and I were engaged, he asked me if I would wait for him when he left. I wholeheartedly agreed. We didn’t know then where he’d be going, for how long, or where he’d go after. We didn’t know if I’d be able to go with him, or what would be waiting for me if I did. But I promised anyway.

“For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge”

After he proposed, he was moved to Germany. It’s a common joke of ours: it gets serious, you run off to Texas; you propose, you leave the continent. Since then, business trips of every kind have kept us from spending more than a few weeks together. Staying with my family made the most sense, especially when we found out Baby Girl would be making her surprise debut. It’s been a blessing being home, but a bittersweet one.

“Your people shall be my people and your God, my God…”

Delta’s schedule for next year isn’t looking much different from this one. I know better than to ask for specifics, he won’t say anything I want to hear, but I ask anyway.

And he asks me again if I would wait here or if I would wait there.

If it means spending 25 weeks with him instead of four, yes. If it means 30 days together and 30 days apart, yes.

“…if anything but death parts you and me”

And then another bittersweet reality, like a bag being placed over my head, it’s not just the two of us. She’s resilient, but she’ll feel the move. For me it’ll be like waking up from a prolonged nap, but for her, everything will change.

Grandparents will not be there to welcome the morning. Aunts and uncles will not be there to play in the afternoon. There will be no more school, with a dozen little friends and dozens of books and toys and playmats. There will be someone new playing games and taking mama’s attention. There will be some days when my arms are the only ones holding her.

I’ve never felt pressure to be anything different with Delta. That’s one perk to our lifestyle, there’s been no expectations at the end of the honeymoon or about homemaking or romance or support. There are overwhelming pressures that come with being a parent – being a first-time parent, a working parent, a single parent. In the next year, I will be the only constant in Baby Girl’s life.

Part of me (the wife part) is desperate to fast forward. Another part of me (the adventurous part) is already planning weekend itineraries and daydreaming about walking – not driving! – to a farmer’s market with berries and chocolate and wine. But another part of me (the mama part, which is taking over) is terrified. I will be breaking promises and breaking hearts, every day will still be bittersweet.

My promises to her will be much harder to keep.

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