I keep daydreaming about homecoming. The end of deployment will be here soon. Should I wear my pretty red blouse and jeans with heels that I only wear on special occasions, or should I wear my new red, lace dress with boots? I keep pinning custom t-shirts for the kids, designing a homecoming banner made for our house, and wondering what to put on our homecoming posters for when we pick him up. Will the first kiss be magical? Will it be impossible to hold back the tears? Sometimes I watch homecoming videos on YouTube and end up crying just thinking about the day this will finally end.
Last night I talked to my husband and we had an argument. I hate arguing with him, but I haven’t seen him in several months and arguments really hurt now. Life isn’t a fairytale. To say I’m not a little nervous about readjusting to life with him home would be a lie. I’ve been with this man for almost 10 years, but I still wonder how a nearly one year separation has changed us.
I look at my children and see how much they have changed. My oldest has grown into a young man. He is nearly five. He does chores by himself now. He is a rule follower and has already started asking me the hard questions like, “Where do babies come from?” He started learning Jiu Jitsu and it’s exciting to see him blooming. He’s a pretty shy guy.
My daughter was still in diapers when he left. She is now potty trained. My husband still remembers her as a barely two-year-old little girl who spoke in short sentences. She now carries on full conversations and she is quite hilarious. She even makes up her own stories to tell us. Her hair has grown longer, she already needs to go up a size in clothing again. She is the opposite of her big brother. She loves to talk and she is not the type to sit quietly. She is quite a handful, but a beautiful handful!
Our baby was a newborn when my husband left. A sweet little bundle wrapped up in blankets. Now he crawls so fast I can barely keep up with him. He pulls up on everything. He eats all kinds of food and is putting everything in his mouth.
These kids are my life. I tell my husband it takes almost all of me to manage our home and these kids alone. At the end of the day, I’m so exhausted there isn’t much left of me. I have been humbled by this experience. I have learned what it is like “to die to yourself” for someone else. I have learned what it is like to be sick and unable to rest because I have children to care for. I have learned what it is like to leave housework to the side because the baby is crying and the toddler is into everything. I’d venture to say I’m a little different, too.
While I’m sure homecoming day will be wonderful, I realize there’s another adjustment coming. He hasn’t been around little kids in months. The rhythm in the house will change. Dinnertime will revolve around when Daddy can eat with us. There will be even more laundry to wash and new bedtime routines to establish. We are even planning to move again shortly after my husband gets home! We have one little boy who will really have to get to know his Daddy for the very first time.