I've been fine, which anyone who knows me really isn't a big surprise, I handle military separations pretty well. The kids have been my biggest surprise. Last time cowboy left for any amount of time was while he was active duty Navy and we only had our then barely 3yrs old, now he's an 8yr old. The boys have been fantastic, I knew kids where resilient but wow. That was up until today. Middle little (age 4) has been climbing into bed with me about halfway through the night, no real surprise there and no big deal. Then it started catching my attention.
Many years ago when cowboy and I were dating I lived about six hours from where he was stationed in Norfolk, VA. Weekends where my life. He'd come up right after work Fri. and leave as late as he possibly could on Sunday and still make it back in time to report to the ship. If he was going to be gone for anymore than the week, he'd always leave me a shirt. Usually a nice pressed and starched button up he was wearing, he'd put extra cologne on it and that's what I snuggled with and had near me when I slept. Sounds silly, but when you are used to sleeping with your head on a barrel chested cowboy, laying on his shirt and having that faint smell of him can really help when he's gone. Well, three weeks ago when he left, just like always, I've got my cowboy shirt to cuddle along with my pillow.
Middle little started last night taking the shirt from me and rubbing it on his cheek and sleeping with his head on it. Today at nap time, he cuddles with the cowboy shirt and then I hear the sniffles. My boy is having a hard time now. When asked why he's crying he simply says he doesn't know between sobs, sniffles and snuffles, he doesn't know if daddy's ever coming home, ouch that's a stab to the heart of a mommy. Try as I could I tried to explain how much longer daddy was going to be gone, I showed on the calender, I counted with him and the wheels are turning in his little head but it's just not registering.
I've been watching him, giving him extra hugs and attention when I can with chasing after his little brother and helping his older brother with school stuff. Then today it his new identity appeared. I give you Capt. Pickles.
I know, why Capt. Pickles? "Cuz that's my name" is the answer I got. Who am I to argue with simple reasoning such as that. Also, bit of info on the child... He LOVES pickles! He loves monkeys, hence the Curious George security blanket as a cape, he love tractors and now GI Joe, but he really likes pickles. It doesn't matter what kind either, sweet, dill, even the sweet spicy ones. It's not uncommon for him and Cowboy to sit down and polish off a jar of pickles in a couple sittings.
Playing super hero is a very common play thing for little fellers. My oldest used to tie his security blanket around his shoulders and run around being Super Cody. He'd wake up every morning, come running downstairs yelling Doot doo doo, Super Cody. I love imaginations. I've been known to draw treasure maps and send the little pirates with ice cream buckets on their heads on a treasure hunt. I'm also the one who printed off the pickle clip arts that are glued on his pickle glasses that give him his "pickle power" I must admit though, I am kind of thinking about the child Psychy on this one.
Is it a mere coincidence that Capt. Pickles comes to be at a time when my child is having a very hard time with daddy being away. Could this be a coping mechanism for his sadness of being a military child. Capt. Pickle's super powers are he's brave and strong. Oh yea, he zooms too. Zoom would be... bending your body in half, stretching your arms out behind you as you run and try not to fall on your face or run into any walls because you are looking at the ground as you run. I'm going along with it for now, it seems to be helping him with the sadness he's been having the past day and being his powers are to be brave and strong he's doing what he needs to do till daddy gets home. When the cape and glasses come off Capt Pickles disappears too, he's right back to being my middle little, which is a good thing. I have a strict no capes at the supper table rule.
I do wonder if in a few weeks if that handsome soldier of mine is going to be greeted at the airport by Middle Little, Zooooooooooooooom, Capt. Pickles! Wonder what airport security will think of that?