Joel successfully made it to his final destination, and the deployment has officially began. Luckily, the good people at United Airlines allowed me a gate pass to send him off. Everything was going fine, and it seemed fitting our last "meal" together before he left was coffee at Starbucks. Somehow, Starbucks always seems to wiggle its way into my milestones. Everything went well until they called for his plane to board. I'm not going to lie: I cried the ugly cry. You know that cry, the one that leaves you making noises that don't sound human and makes your face all puffy? Yeah, that was me at the airport. Luckily it was pretty apparent what was going on, and no one gave me too weird of a look. Things have gone better since then. Joel leaves quite often to go TDY (meaning on temporary duty), so a few days seem like normal. I think reality will hit in about a month, or when I have to mow the grass. Whichever comes first.
St. Louis has had some crazy weather lately. Or at least I think it has. I remember Februaries in Indiana being bitterly cold and usually pretty snowy. This week it was in the sixties and I walked the dogs without a jacket on. And then there's been the tornadoes. Those are not so fun when you sleep alone. The sirens go off, they make the dogs bark, I wake up. Then wash, rinse, and repeat. While I grew up with tornadoes (my mom's house has had damage twice), it is a little different now that I own my own home and am all alone. I walked around, and luckily there was no damage of any kind. Let's hope those occurrences stay to a minimum.
I had another day of observations. I swear, I love those kids already. Each time I go to my class, I realize that kids with special needs are just kids. They just want to be loved and believed in like any other kid. In one of my special ed classes, we watched a documentary called "Without Pity" which basically said that these kids get enough pity. And I think it reigns true. These kids are teaching me not to pity them, but to love and teach them. It only reinforces my desire to learn all I can and to love what I do. And every time I get a spontaneous hug from one of them, which happens at least once every time, I just smile. Things like that completely reinforce my feelings of this is what I am meant to do. To not only love what I do, but to make a difference. I feel very blessed because I have the opportunity to go back to school and change careers. Sure, I hate the papers I have to write and the long evening classes, but all of it is to teach me how to be better for them. God is good, but sometimes he is extra great.