Sunday, February 14, 2010
For the past 6 weeks, Christopher has been off in la-la-land, also known as, Airman Leadership School. "Whats that?", you ask? The best way to describe it, for those of you not familiar with the Air Force, is- its kind of like a training program that gears you up for your first big promotion? That seems about accurate. And even though hes taken the class now, he still won't actually be getting promoted until July or August (right when the new baby comes, thank God, because we'll need the pay increase for diapers).
Christopher would come home from work every night, and basically be missing in action. He'd still do his nighttime routine with the kids- bath, story time, put them to bed- but other than that, his nose was in books, and I hardly ever saw him. He didn't respond to me when I asked him questions, he didn't care when I had something to tell him, he was in his own world completely.
One night, towards the end of his class even, I asked him if he could just come sit with me for the night. Ya know, snuggle up on the couch and maybe watch a movie. The look that he gave me, was that of shock. How dare I ask him something so big. His studying was much more important.
My eyes must have said all they needed to, because he very quickly took back what he had just said, and agreed to sit with me, apologizing repeatedly.
Was it really too much for me to ask him? To just spend two hours on a Friday night with me? Really?
In the old days, up until about a year ago, they used to have the men stay in the dorms while they went through ALS (the acronym for his class, since you're probably still not familiar with the terms). A gal that I used to work with down at Lane Bryant, her husband went through the class, and I remember how she was on her own with the kids while he shacked up in his own personal study space apartment, just down the street from her. I remember thinking it was ridiculous, and being curious by how she managed to keep it together, when her husband was within arms reach, but unable to help. If it were me, I'd be mad.
Well, I was being selfish.
By the 3rd week of ALS, I was wishing that Christopher had gone off to live in the dorms, because at least that way I wouldn't have to explain to the kids why Daddy wasn't moving from the dining room table until bath time, and I wouldn't be getting ignored every single time I spoke a word in his direction. I suddenly understood, why they would separate the families. Separate us, I silently begged.
Again, I was being a selfish Sally. I'm really good at that, you know.
On the day of his graduation, we had a snow storm (pictures soon!). At the almost last minute, they cancelled the ceremony, and the guys (our neighbor was in the class with Christopher as well, which came in handy when one of the guys would need a ride to leave us ladies with our cars) went in for a quick "here's your diploma" type run through.
Christopher had been working really hard, for the last 6 weeks, to win an award called "Distinguished Graduate". Something about being in the top 10% of the class? I'm not sure exactly, the Air Force seems to have an award for everything (to me, at least), but I supported him. I knew he wanted it, and I assured him he'd get it. How could he not? He had spent WEEKS studying. He had spent WEEKS making me crazy, with his studying.
Well, he didn't get it.
I guess when they didn't call his name, his face sank into a frown. He was devastated. I wish I could have been there to see it, because what happened next makes up for any sadness that he briefly felt.
Every class, has a top student. That student, with the best combined leadership skills and academic scores, gets handed a great big giant trophy (its named after some guy, but you won't really care if I don't go google it, do you?)- and in Christopher's case, a handful of reassurance and self esteem. He won.
Check out that guy (I told him to picture me naked, because I couldn't get a big enough smile when trying to take the picture), with all of his proudness.
Christopher, it was rough, but I'm so proud of you. All of your hard work really payed off. You scored top of your class, even when having to come home to a busy demanding family, and a somewhat selfish moody pregnant wife.
3 cheers for Christopher?
Hip hip hooray!
Hip hip ho0ray!
Hip hip, hoooorrraaaayyyy!