Nearing the end of a deployment is the most exciting time. The days can’t go quickly enough and you start to put all the plans and preparation in place for the R&R and the subsequent holiday that they’re able to take.
The timing had worked out perfectly for us with Spring Break, (our schools don’t have an Easter holiday, just a week long break with a few inservice days tagged on) falling right where we needed it to.
So when your world turns upside down because that day gets fast forwarded by over 3 weeks, and you have to hot foot it to an airport 2 hours away with just a few hours notice and a 2:30am wake-up time, it’s ever so slightly disconcerting.
Disappointing in fact.
I know how that sounds but it’s part of the mental prep that you do at the end of a deployment. They’ve been away for 6 months. Routines have changed. Babies have grown. Little girls are older, wiser and a lot cheekier. Nothing stays the same forever but in reality nothing really changes that much. But there have been tweaks here and there to make life as a solo parent that bit easier.
James said that the house was really different. That Joe was huge and solid (he’s always been a skinny runt). And Emmie had matured so much.
He didn’t know that the TV is not really on in our house at all anymore. That Emmie will eat the yolk of her eggs and tomatoes which were both absolute no nos just a few months ago. That she can do simple arithmetic in her head and put on her own pyjamas after bathtime. And Joe is now the most loving little boy that just wants hugs when he comes to visit you. But mainly he’s hugely independent and just wants to play alone.
I have no photos of his return. Well I do but they’re really blurry iPhone ones. I’m still getting my head wrapped around the fact that there’s another person in the house. Another person asking me questions. Another person to trip over when I turn around.
But I have my husband back. I’m writing this at 8:38 in the morning ALL ALONE. Normally I’d be on the school run but I’m not because he is. I have company, someone to appreciate my cooking, someone to chat to, someone to warm my bed so it’s not bloody freezing.
The struggle is over. Thank God. Obviously until the next time!