It means rest and recouperation in military terms.
What does R&R look like to the parents?
We get a break from the tense waiting: waiting for emails, phone calls, word. We go from daily updates and contacts to "yay" and then to silence. As it should be.
We are so thankful they are home safe. We are so thankful we can take a break from the news about Afghanistan and Iraq. We no longer have to comb the web for stories.
I am so thankful my son made it home in time to feel his baby son move, and experience this stage of his dear wife's pregnancy. That is an answer to prayer by so many. We are so thankful.
But, now the quiet. I am glad we have some home remodelling projects--something to do while we wait for grandchild number three to make his appearance.
Bob said that delivering three soldiers to their wives on Friday was THE BEST DAY EVER. Christmas times three. When James got off the flight from Ireland Friday morning, it was not "Hi, mom" but "can you take me and two buddies to Fort _____ today?? So, we packed them in the car, handed them bottles of water, I shook their hand, and Bob took off. He had them in their wife's arms by noon. I drove Bob's other car home. (as he was planning to just go into work, as we thought James was wanting to fly on to the Army post) But, we could get him there quicker, and were glad to help. Parents of adults gotta be flexible---ready for any contingency. Keep that van full of gas, and the tires aired up. The only thing I forgot to send with is a camera. And extra phone.
As they neared the Army Post, the men called their wives, as one needed an address. His family had finally gotten on post housing, so he needed to call and find out exactly where they were. The phone cut out just down the street. If only I'd sent the other phone, they could have finished the call. But, they did find the house...and with little kids peeking out, Bob said it was so neat to see the wife fly out and hug her soldier.
Then to James' house. And his waiting, very pregnant wife. Her sister took video--and even their little dog was so glad to see James. It might not have been the homecoming Amber imagined, but at least she did not have to stand around an airport waiting.
Bob tried to load more minutes onto his phone (unsuccessfully---) and I was given a glimpse of this scene when they skype-ed in, and I could see James and Amber hugging, and Bob working on his laptop. I kept telling Bob to come home. Forget about the phone. Get outa there. You are no longer needed nor wanted.
Bob came home, and Ben drove up from college, and they glued the tiny tiles onto the backstop behind the stove. We found these tiles on sale (being discontinued?) and scarfed up all they had. They attached tiles behind the sink...and on around to behind the trash for my basketball trash throwers. Covered that stain behind the trashcan that works as a backboard for those shots that bounce off the back wall before scoring into the trashcan.
The tile looks great! It is a dark tile with copper streaks. It is called "nocturnal tiger's eye" and it makes the bright cupboards look dingy yellow. So, now what color to paint the cupboards?? Ben suggested I enlist the experts: Aunt Sally and Aunt Wendy. Many of my appliances are black, and since Ben removed the old linoleum asbestos tiles on the kitchen floor for me---I have a smooth, soft-as-butter cement floor in the kitchen.
Yesterday, Saturday, they grouted. Wow. That is hard work. Much sweating. Pushing grout between the teeny tiny tiles. Bob says he is Bob from Texas, not Sore from Grouting. ha
Three soldiers died in Afghanistan on the 12th. We grieve for their families as we sigh in relief for ours.
We called our firstborn in Alaska. So good to hear a little baby cooing. Baby David was born in October, and has the best disposition. I wonder if they are tempted to have more if they could be guaranteed another David?? "He is awesome" Andy says. And there is a picture this morning of our granddaughter petting her dog on facebook. Facebook is so kind to grannies who like pictures. We are so thankful. Our cup is full. Overflowing.
Facebook also gave us a heads up that our youngest dyed his hair pink last night. He has tried black and red. I thought he was gonna try purple. He needs maroon for when he visits Alaska during his spring break.
When we talked to Andy on the phone, we were all watching the same football game. I was remarking on the long hair on some of the players now. One player's hair looked so dirty and stringy. Andy said that our granddaugher wisely noted that they are girls playing football. From the mouth of babes: yes, Abby, they have women's souls. Real men don't bother about their hair.