Do you take your kids? Stick around the entire time? Drop him off?
The second time Gunner deployed to Iraq, was probably the easiest send-off. I was 12 weeks pregnant, and we took the kids to school after he said goodbye to them, and I sat there and waited with him. When it came time for the guys to march off, there were wives wailing, throwing themselves on the ground, screaming, chasing after them in formation, and sobbing. This of course made all the kids even more upset, and I was relieved that I was there alone and didn't have to put my kids through it.
When the buses pulled off, I waved to him, he smiled, waved, and I turned and left. I was not one of the many families that was chasing after the bus and wailing. I was so embarrassed for them and their Soldier (I am easily embarrassed for people, probably way too much!). I remember one wife who wanted to take one more picture of her daughter with her husband and she told her daughter to jump into formation, and she was furious when he wouldn't stop and he barked at her. Not a very happy send-off for them.
The last time Gunner deployed, we took the kids with us, his parents and my mom. Of course that lead to a few more tries before they actually left, and the last time it was just Gunner, me, and my mom. We took a few pictures, and we left before they chased families away. Gunner said it wasn't pretty by the end.
Maybe I just can't take the drama of it all. Sure I miss him, but it doesn't any of us a bit of good to act like a fool. Maybe acting like that works for you and your family, heck, tell me I'm wrong, but I still won't be joining in with the hoopla.
This time, without family close by, we will have to take all the kiddos. Abs will not handle it well, and Junior feeds off of Ab's moods. (Let me tell you, that is LOADS of fun.)
I'm thinking we might go do something special after we drop him off. Maybe the Airplane Restaurant and we can hope for better results? Any suggestions?