Well, it's begun. Jeff is in Illinois, on a bus, headed for nine weeks of boot camp. I'm stuck here, alone. He was pretty gung ho before about making a career out of the military, but after facing long separation for the first time today, he's coming around to my way of thinking--get training, get degree, get out. We'll see how he feels after surviving boot camp.
It's been a whirlwind of emotions the last few days. Yesterday, Jeff, Jeffy and I went to DEP--Delayed Entry Program headquarters--to do the last paperwork stuff. From there we went to the SLC Airport Radisson, where they put people before the ship out. Jeff got checked into his room and we went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Good thing Jeff had a meal voucher! Those prices were way out of our comfort zone! He was just glad it was a nice hotel and not a trashy one like he had stayed at in Richmond for processing in Virginia. Jeffy proceeded to make a huge mess of our table, so we left a nice, bit tip. Jeff had a meeting that night at 8:30, so we got to spend a little time together after dinner. We (mostly I) decided that I didn't want to come all the way back home just to go back early in the morning to see him swear in, so I got a spur-of-the-moment hotel room (not at Jeff's pricey place, obviously) and Jeffy and I had an interesting night.
The next morning I packed up the kid, stopped at a grocery store for some breakfast and headed over to MEPS--Military Entrance Processing Station--for some . . . processing. Jeff had been there since 5 or 6 am. He got all his paperwork processed and passed his physical, etc., so at about 9:30 I went to some special room there and watched as an old Army Captain swore him and two other guys in. That was kind of fun to watch. One guy looked pretty scared; one guy looked apathetic; Jeff looked very serious. From there, we waited around for his travel arrangements to be made. Once they were finalized, Jeff took a cab to the airport and I met him there. I wish we could have gone together, but rules are rules!
The earliest flight they could get him was at 5 pm, and we got there a little after 11 am, so we had some time to burn. Jeffy was getting cranky due to lack of naps, and both Jeff and I were running low on energy as well. But we found a playplace, got some food and hung out for a while together. I was doing well and staying strong for a good long time and I was feeling confident that I could send him off with a smile, but that fell a little short. I pulled out a letter I was writing for Jeff to take with him, and as I wrote it, I started to weaken. I actually thought about how my life will be for the next nine weeks and I was doomed. I hadn't really thought about that before, mostly as a defense mechanism, I think. Anyways, the water works started and I had a hard time shutting them off. Jeffy was getting really ornery so he and I had to leave before Jeff actually borded. So he walked me back to security (I had been allowed past it because he's Military) and we said our goodbyes. I've been weepy ever since and expect to be for a few more days. I'm trying to be happy and calm around Jeffy, though. He's been especially fussy today--I think he can feel that mommy is sad. Poor little guy. I'm glad I have him.
I'm sure things will get better. I just have to tell myself that it's temporary and focus on goals that will make me happy and help me to progress. I sure am looking forward to that one phone call, though!
So if anyone is bored and looking for someone to hang out with, I'm your girl. I need all the friends and outings I can get.