R & R has come and gone. Sprout is very well and was happy to be back in the States. He seemed to be enjoying himself a lot. By the time I got to see him, his wife had him chilling out and relaxed and smiling and I was glad. The grandkids and I drove over to spend a couple of days and he did the sight-seeing thing with us. Stoicdad was laid up with a brand new knee so Sprout had to make a trip here to see him. Sproutette was never more than two feet away from him or him from her. He played with the kids, especially Sgt. York who thinks Sprout is a super-hero. We went to the aquarium and he even showed the kids a "haunted house" right up the street from where they were staying. The kids loved looking into the haunted mailbox, but the Little General put her foot down when it came to going up on the haunted porch. Sprout got a kick out of that. He seems none the worse for wear and yet, he is not the boy I sent to the Army. He's a man. The days went by much too fast and I slept better then I have slept in a while. Sproutette fixed us dinner one night and I so enjoyed standing at the sink washing dishes and listening to them all laughing together in the next room. A happy soldier is a safe soldier.
And sadly, Sproutette once again kissed him good-bye, hugged him like she couldn't let go and put him on a plane that would take him half a world away. I don't know how military spouses do it. And if the parting at the airport is not enough, there is always that long drive home from the airport, alone. And unlocking the front door to another empty house. But at least it's all downhill from here and as Sprout put it, poking fun at the fly boys, "I'm just an Air Force deployment away from being done". (For those who don't know, the Air Force deploys to Iraq for six months at a time, the Army for fifteen). Anyway, I guess Shakespeare knew what he was talking about when he wrote:
"Good-night, good-night. Parting is such sweet sorrow, ere I say good-night till it be morrow".
Waking up in Uncle Sprout's shirt.