One month. That’s somehow four weeks which is really 31 days. (Kind of like how pregnancy is nine months, but 40 weeks, which I have never quite figured out.)
One month means four movie nights with my kids.
One month is about two dozen loads of laundry, assuming someone pees on something unexpectedly, which is a safe assumption.
Over the course of a month I get to watch my son point out the entire cycle of the moon.
Over the course of one month I notice my hormones push waves of sadness over me at predictable times that I try to keep in perspective.
One month is four sets of violin lessons to take my girls to.
One month is supposedly how long it will take to build my new garage.
It costs $20 to rent a violin from my store for one month, $35 for a cello.
One month is four mandolin orchestra rehearsals.
One month is about 500 trips around the block for Mona on her scooter.
One month is how long it took me to just watch all five seasons of Angel on DVD.
One month isn’t long enough for me to learn the piano part to the Minuet Aden’s working on.
A tank of gas lasts me about a month if we don’t travel anywhere special.
This month there will be four free concerts in the park near our house.
One month is enough time for the digital clock running slow on my oven to drive me batty.
In one month there will be four opportunities to participate in neighborhood recess.
One month is about 200 kisses I will plant on my son’s head that he will try to wipe off while he laughs and tells me to stop it.
One month is about two jugs of bubble solution and a good size pack of sidewalk chalk.
One month is at least two dozen calls home to chat with my mom or dad just because.
One month is about eight trips to the grocery store.
One month isn’t long, unless it’s the approximate amount of time before this tour is over and my husband comes home from Iraq. I struggle often with the concept of time when my husband is deployed because on the one hand I want the time we’re apart to go quickly so that we can be together again, but at the same time I want the time with my kids to stand still. I can’t hope for any time to slip by me because life is short and there is so much that I am sad to lose. Even as I exchange the toothless baby smiles for adorably gap-toothed grins and crawling for biking and coos for combinations of words I never could have come up with myself, I love being a witness to it all and the changes are exciting but each milestone is as much a loss as it is a gain. It’s all so interesting and wonderful and it goes by so heartbreakingly fast. With small children the days sometimes seem endless but the years go by in a blink.
So there is one more month that I have to operate as a single parent while worrying about my husband’s safety. It’s exhausting, but there is also something satisfying about having gotten this far with all my kids in tow. There is much I could have done better during this time, but overall I think I have a lot to be proud of in terms of getting our family through this unscathed.
One month. I’m sure in retrospect it will go by quickly, but right now? One month seems like forever. In some ways that hurts and in some ways that’s okay.