October was a crazy month and I guess it's just taken me this long to process it all. Truly there was about a week in there that just completely changed our lives forever. While it didn't seem so monumental at the time, looking back there was a LOT that happened in just a few short days.
First, Krystyne swore into the United States Marine Corps. Yup, my daughter is going to be one of The Few and The Proud. I'm just as shocked by the whole thing as everyone else. It was a long time in getting her down to processing and (in normal military fashion) and absolute cluster-f*ck of paperwork and other reasons that kept her from swearing in. We eventually got it all under control and swear in she did. She leaves for boot camp on June 17th. Just three short weeks after her high school graduation. 164 days from today. Yes, there is a ticker on my computer and I am keeping track. Some days it's to remind me that there isn't much time left. Other days it's to remind me how little time is left.
The change that she has undergone in the last three months is nothing short of miraculous. There were days when I dropped her off at the recruiters' office and double checked that they couldn't take her now, like right fucking now! Flippant doesn't do justice to the attitude I was getting! They promised me it would get better and it has. The transformation that I have seen in her in the last 3 months has been nothing short of miraculous. I baked a bit plate of cookies for them for Christmas and feel like I should do it once a week for what they've done for my daughter. And she hasn't even left for boot camp yet. I can't wait to see what 13 weeks in Parris Island will send back.
Krysty also got her driver's license and turned 18 (in December). All in the same week. I survived. Barely. The baby that made me a mom for the very first time is a legal adult. Making very adult commitments. I'm surprised all of my hair didn't fall out. I am having some serious aging issues. If she's an adult(-ish) then I must be. Shit. I don't like it.
Jane turned 13 in October, the day before Krysty swore-in. Another Mommy-Milestone I'm not quite ready for. She's turning into such a beautiful girl. She's doing great in school. She's got fantastic grades and is coming home with a ton of awards. She's doing the California Cadet Corps program at her school and doing very well there, too. She's got her sights set on the military as well and is enjoying all that she is learning.
The biggest life-changer of October was my dad coming to live with us. He's been battling prostate cancer for a few years now. It recently came out of remission and he's in treatment. Treatment is working now and for that I am eternally grateful.
Honestly it's been really great. My dad and I have never been close, but we have that chance now. There was a whole ton of crap from my childhood I'll not dig up here, but we just never really had a relationship. He just wasn't there. In and out as I was growing up, but never a constant. There's no anger there. It just was. I don't explore it too much, I just kind of go with it. But I do know that having this time with him now is a blessing. It also helps that I have a more than full-house and he has a touch of OCD. Coffee gets made every night before he goes to bed, and the dining table gets cleaned regularly. Seriously, who could ask for more. It's the extra set of hands I always needed combined with a chance to have my kids know my dad in a way I never was able to. Georgiana is his little buddy and it just warms my heart. Walking down the hallway and hearing Fi talking to him and finding her snuggled on his bed watching TV is priceless. The older kids are getting the chance to know him, too.
I know one day that things are going to get hard. He's going to get really sick and eventually die. And the responsibility that comes with that will fall on me. I'm OK with it. I'm living one day at a time and understanding that it will be the cost of what I have now. So for now he's my Saturday Shopping Buddy, my extra hands around the house, with the kids, and even at work. He kept me company when during the month from Thanksgiving to Christmas Doug was working late.
So as you can see things seemed to explode for about a month! Then The Holidays showed up. I'm pretty sure I didn't give the go-ahead on that. But apparently I am not the one that gets to set the schedule (who's bright idea was that?). Allie and Jane went on vacation to their dad's in Virginia for 3 weeks. Doug, me, and the remaining girls made a trip to Angels Camp, California for Christmas, and Dad opted to stay behind and wallow in the quiet for 5 days.
So, there it is. My last three months in a nutshell. I'll make my quarterly resolution to get back to blogging more often. And I'll probably be back in another three months with a recap.