This is always an interesting time – the weeks or months before a deployment. We know it’s coming (although we don’t have the exact date yet). We’re preparing for it. (B’s most urgent goal seems to be ensuring that Hope knows how to tie her shoes before he leaves.) It’s never far from our minds – The Year. And yet we don’t talk about it or focus on it too much because it might make us sad. I think if people knew they were going to be separated from a loved one for a long stretch, they’d not take the time they had for granted, they’d enjoy the moments together as best they could. Hold the hand a little longer, listen closely, laugh louder, give comfort, play in the snow as if it will melt in a minute (I wish!), skip the old battles, read an extra story, hug harder. We get to do that, and I am thankful. This time is sweet.