If you had asked me during Ryan’s last deployment whether I’d ever be willing to step outside my comfort zones, meet new people, and go on blind play dates, I would have taken a big old hard pass. I was never really comfortable putting myself on the line. Ever. And, I always felt like I wasn’t capable of meeting new people, making new friends, and pushing new bounds. This time, however, I’ve found that these comfort zones I’ve created for myself are really just a shell, and with two little boys and a baby, I don’t have the luxury of simply standing idle.
Above and beyond that, I’ve found that people are usually inherently wonderful. We have such a fantastic tenant living at our at Fort Drum and, as luck would have it, one of her good friends lives here at Fort Lewis. She’s been attempting to blind friendship date us for a while, and there’s yet to be a perfect day. I’ve struggled to find the time and the energy, but she, too, has a husband overseas and two littles just around Spencer and Porter’s age. So, we embraced the inconvenience, stepped out of those self-imposed comfort zones, and finally met up with one another.
As luck would have it, the weather has been beautiful here this past weekend, and we figured that a playdate involving water was the perfect cure for solo parenting during deployments. We met up at Tolmie State Park, and the boys, as well as her two girls, clicked famously. We had a fantastic time. It wasn’t anything fancy. It was two mamas, five children, sunshine, sand, rocks, and seawater. And you know what? It was absolutely perfect.
We love Tolmie to begin with, and having a couple hours with a fellow military mama was such fun. The kids simply threw rocks, checked out the teeny little crabs scuttling along, enjoyed cake pops together, and played in the sand. Mieke enjoyed about an hour before melting down, but we had fun, nonetheless, and we can’t wait to do it again.
Weekends are a lot different this deployment. I’m less frantic, and I’m more comfortable with my discomfort (most days – not all, mind you). I’m also way more comfortable stepping outside those proverbial comfort zones, which I know is serving my kiddos well. Resilience doesn’t come easy, and I am definitely not a perfect mama, but I’m learning the art of actually getting by and faking it till we really do make it. So, this Monday, I’m savoring the weekend that was, and we’re looking forward to many more weekends just like this.