Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Third Time's the Charm

     It's quiet in my house, so very quiet.  That's always the first thing I notice when my husband leaves, the quiet and the stillness.  You wouldn't think one person's absence could make a house feel so empty.  But that's how it feels: empty.  Yet I don't think it has truly hit me yet that another deployment has descended on us.  This is our third, and it feels so unlike the first or second.  I shouldn't be surprised considering how different the second was from the first, yet I find myself wondering what on Earth could this one have in store for us?

     Today I watched Monkey as she played and laughed with her daddy all day long.  I saw how they chased each other around the house, giggling.  They've grown as thick as thieves over the past 12 months.  Her favorite playmate is her daddy, and to be honest, Mommy can be a poor substitute when it comes to climbing trees, wrestling, and playing Nerf guns.  When it came time for us to drop him off, she grew sullen, refusing to put on her shoes and socks so we could go.  It made me realize how much she's grown.  In the past, "Daddy's going on deployment" was the same as "Daddy's going to work", that is, until he didn't come home that night, or the next, or the next.  Today I saw that she understood that if we got in that car, she'd be losing him for a while.  I also saw how she managed to rally herself when she learned that he was going to help people on the other side of the world.  No; this deployment won't be like the previous ones, and that is both reassuring and frightening.

     Last night I said my goodbyes to him.  We spent the night doing our favorite things: playing cards, laughing, teasing, loving.  That was different too.  In the past I've pulled away from him before the separation came, in hopes that it would make the actual distant easier to manage.  Foolish, I know, but I truly believed if I "weaned" myself of my husband it would help ease the pain in the long run.  Instead it left me with a bed of regrets to lie in.  Not this time, though.  No; I've learned from that mistake.  This time, I made sure to have a handful of good memories to keep me warm on the long, cold nights to come.  I'm glad to say I succeeded in that.

     Yet it's not all somber and sadness; before he left, our conversations were full of "when you get home…".  I look forward to the fulfillment of those future plans.  I look forward to the excitement of homecoming, the buzz of anticipation, and even the readjustment period that follows his return.  All those things I look to and more.  I also look forward to the months alone, because over the years, I've learned how much I grow while he's away.  Every deployment brings its own set of lessons to be learned and experiences to be gathered, and I look forward to this one being no different in that aspect.  I also look forward to the time with my daughter.  In a way, I almost give her up to J when he's here, not entirely, but he takes the reins.  When he's away I have a chance to bond with her again in a new way.  Every time is different, because every time she's different, and considering how much she's grown and changed in the past year, I look forward to getting to know her all over again.

     So that's that.  We've come to our third deployment, and I'm hoping the old adage holds true: "The third time's the charm."

1 comment:

  1. Your little family has grown so much emotionally. I am so proud of you.