it's official. steve will be attending command and general staff college, at fort leavenworth KS, as a geo-bachelor. i took this shot of him today, while he was looking for housing options in KS.
this has been one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make--having our family be apart again, for another year, after having just finished a 7-month deployment. having our family apart by our choice. this journey of ours has been an emotional roller coaster filled with ups and downs...frustration and tears, to say the least. one minute we're excitedly ready to put an offer on a house in kansas...the next, i'm in tears and steve is going to kansas by himself.
i have read, re-read and taken to heart every comment, email, suggestion, etc. that others have offered. and i thank you! yesterday, i was able to get a second and third opinion from two special education lawyers--both agreed that the best thing is to ensure that there is no break in kiele's receipt of transcription services. and both agreed that home-schooling kiele for that one year would raise many difficulties, at the school that kiele would attend after kansas. steve also explained our situation to the detailer (the assignment coordinator) and there is no way that his orders can be changed, at this point.
one thing that has been mentioned a few times is asking the kids what they want. have i done that? no, i can't say i have. if this was a normal situation, i would...but it's hard for adults to understand kiele's schooling situation, let alone children (12, 6 and 4 years old). i also choose not to put that burden on them. i even struggle with the fact that i don't want kiele to feel that she is breaking up our family because it's for her DHH schooling services, so i am very cautious about what i say and how i say it. even when discussing things with steve, i shared with him that i don't want him to resent me because of this. his reply, i would never. and i don't want kiele's schooling to get screwed up because of a move to KS and it be my fault.
so you can see, it's emotional and complicated. and well...we are the adults/parents and some decisions are ours to make. while i do believe that the input of my children is so important, i think this situation goes beyond what they can completely grasp and/or comprehend.
but the one thing i still struggle with is this--steve contacted the ft leavenworth housing office to inquire about geo-bachelor housing. yes they have it, but for a price--an unfurnished house on base for $1500/month. WHAT THE HELL? oh yes, three guys can room together, but that's still $500/month per guy. and what about furnishings? remember, these guys would all be geo-bachelors, with their families elsewhere. we have some extra stuff that we'll send with steve (a mattress, a table, a grill, etc.) but still...i just don't get it. in the past (when i was in the air force), geo-bachelors would be given a room with a bed, bathroom, dresser, TV and kitchenette for free (kind of like a dorm room). of course, we get no extra money for being apart. we just have to spend a shitload more, that's all.
and the one thing that might just throw me over the edge is if steve gets to his next assignment, after kansas, and has to deploy right away. if that happens, i very well might have to start taking some prescribed happy drugs. that...would throw me over the edge.
this whole thing is just so damn hard. hard to let go of that dream of being complete, for another year. that dream of having our family together again. i'm working hard to get over the lump in my throat, the knots in my stomach, the tears that randomly well in my eyes, to begin focusing on the positive--we are healthy, we are strong, we will be able to talk daily and hopefully see each other monthly.
mid june, we will drive with steve to kansas, making a family vacation out of the trp. we will hopefully stay with steve for 2-3 weeks. after that, we will hopefully see steve one weekend a month and all holidays. in december, we're thinking that we'll take a kick-ass trip to new zealand (somewhere fantastic) because...damn it, we deserve it.