We just learned that there is a strong possibility that the Gutsy Dad will not have to go on his RLBT after all.
I am spastically elated. I catch myself feeling huge amounts of relief, imagining him here for the holidays, here for Bronwen's first year, imagining a real family routine. So much unspoken anxiety drains out of me. I feel hopeful, lightened. I even feel gratitude that our leadership is--apparently--doing what it said it would do.
But then, as in The Little Match Girl, with a gust of reality the flame of hope goes out. The optimistic visions fade away, and I am left in an emotional shiver. Nothing is for sure. I brace myself for singlehood. I kick myself for wasting time doing house chores instead of scheduling family activities. After all, if he does go, it will be soon.
In the past, when the Gutsy Dad has been assigned to an RLBT, it has been set in stone. We put the date on the calendar and marched with drudgery toward it. The date came (despite my protests), and he left.
This is the first time I am having to learn to contend with shifting dates, shifting purposes, changes in projected length, and the possibility of cancellation all together. It's a whole new balancing act. It is both completely unnerving and completely marvelous.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with (still premature) relief. Sometimes I feel first-date butterflies. Sometimes I feel the weight of dread so deeply that I literally ask the Gutsy Dad what I should do. Mostly, I feel strangely de-sensitized, insulated, selectively numb.
All we can do is wait to be told.
My constant prayer now has two parts: Make it definite. Let him stay.
Make it definite.
Let him stay.