What She Didn’t Tell Me

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first homecoming, 2013

We did it. We survived another deployment! Although this one wasn’t as “exciting” as the last one with him walking off the plane that he just flew [Top Gun style] but I don’t care — he’s home. he’s safe. and he’s done with a deployment. DONE. Even though it wasn’t very long, it was the worst. I know veteran military wives are shaking their heads because it was only 9 weeks, but this was our first as a family. Our first with a baby. A dog. A house that is ours. Life has changed since I first met that Captain almost 4 years ago.

One of the first things a military spouse told me was, “the homecomings make it worth it.” My non-military mind didn’t really understand what she meant at the time but I quickly learned what was coming. What seemed like hundreds of trips (aka TDY’s), upgrades, late night/early morning sims, check rides, PT tests, studying the plane, studying the plane some more, and then learning a whole new plane. A homecoming better be worth it! and it was and still is, but there’s something I wish that military spouse told me about homecomings that no one really talks about.

The reconnection.

The awkwardness.

The this is our schedule and you have no idea what it is.

The I forgot what it’s like to live with someone else.

The I missed you, but I need my space.

You see, when your spouse is gone, you learn to live life without him. You learn to do simple things by yourself like parenting, walking the dog with a stroller, making sure the roof is repaired by a BBB approved roofer, the truck has new brakes, and the bath tub isn’t spewing greenish brown water. Ya know, simple things. You learn to get the job done… BY YOURSELF. Because the one person who’s there to save you is on the other side of the world serving your country. And you have no control over that.

But you do have control over how you spend your time. You stay busy and start a blog. You stay up late on Pinterest looking at DIY cleaning products and wake up with your house smelling like vinegar and lemons. Life gets back to normal and each day you’re just surviving. Time goes by fast and the deployment is finally coming to an end. Your spouse is home safely and it’s wonderful and awesome and rainbows and butterflies, but it’s also not so pretty.

Because your baby doesn’t remember him. You have to fit him back into your stay-busy schedule. And you have to share a bed again.

“The Reconnection” process of a homecoming is probably the worst. It will be awkward. It will be weird. It will be strange. Let’s be real, your relationship the past few months has been your phone. YOUR PHONE. And then he’s here in person and you can actually hug him instead of sending the two hand emoji. It takes time getting used to having an actual relationship again, and if you disagree with that – you’re lying.

We’re now 2 weeks into him being home, and I can say it’s just now getting back to normal. We’re finally clicking again and living the way we used to. Life is good! I have an extra set of hands! and I can go to the grocery store by myself! and I can cook for two people instead of one! It’s the little things I guess. I’m just happy he’s home.

But it won’t be much longer until he’s out the door again and we’ll do it all over. Sigh, military life.