The Reunion Reaction

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I hate those military homecoming shows.

I do. Really.

Of course, there is a tinge of jealousy watching a reunion between families back together again when mine has been fragmented for so long.

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But I think those reunion shows give the wrong impression of military life. Yes, happy tears when mommy and daddy comes back but there is so much more that we don’t see.

Adjustments to Daddy being back. Adjustments to Daddy leaving. Adjustments to having two parents again. Always ask Daddy first. He never says no.

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I thought about having my husband R pull the kids out of class the last hour of the day as a surprise. R would show up unexpectedly but with permission of their teachers of course. My mother thinks he should hide in their closet and find him when they got home.

I think they’d pee their pants if he popped out of their closets.

I am not sure what we’ll do. Our reunions are private and special each and every time. I will let their teachers know what we may do. I will let R decide how he wants to surprise our kids.

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They are so excited to see Daddy. We haven’t seen him since May. We don’t Skype. We don’t e-mail. It’s so much easier to just call when we need to, text and send pictures when we need to.

The youngest L is in kindergarten and makes a calendar with her class every month. As soon as we knew Daddy’s arrival date, they have all used her calendar to keep track of the days until Daddy gets home.

Only two more days.

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[Note: I do not own these images. All images were found on Google.]

The Paternal Connection

It feels like we are having a lot more sad conversations. As R’s time in the military comes to an end, he realizes how much he has missed of our kids’ lives.

First time a baby rolls over. First words. First steps. First days of school. All days of school. Birthdays. Halloweens. Christmases.

All for what?

For a pension? For financial stability? Trust me. It will help but it does not promise stability.

Injured in a war that many have seemed to forget about. Aches and pains that go unreported to doctors, to a spouse, to bosses. And for what? Pride? Shame? Guilt?

There is a lot going through our minds now. Too much to write about. Most too personal to publish.

A few nights ago, we both had a weak moment.

“I will never get those days back,” he said.

“I know,” I said because what else could I say? “We could have another baby.”

That statement usually is followed by a few choice words from R and a definite NO. But this time was different.

“We could.”

Come again?

“I never got to see them as babies. I never got to see them grow up… hello?”

“I’m still here,” I said. “Just a bit shocked. I have always joked about having another one and you’ve always said no.”

“I know but they’re all grown up now. And I missed everything.”

No. You haven’t. We talked more about it and realized that while bringing another life into this world that was both him and me would be amazing and wonderful, it would also be for the wrong reasons.

[Don’t get me wrong. If it happens, it happens. But with a vasectomy? Don’t hold your breath. He would be so mad if he were reading this right now but if he doesn’t say anything for a few weeks, I’ll post about the day of his vasectomy. Hilarious story about that day.]

A baby would take up his time that would probably be better spent on the kids who haven’t had it, if that makes any sense. A year from now, R will prepare to move home and I believe with my whole heart that when he moves home, it was supposed to be the time he moves home. Our kids will overwhelm him at first. Shoot, everything will overwhelm him at first.

But I welcome it. I welcome the tough transition. I welcome the awkward times we will have together, getting used to each other full-time again. I welcome making mistakes and planning dinners. I welcome it all because I’m sure that in a parallel universe I had nothing.

In this universe I have everything.

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Running in Circles

R has been in San Antonio for almost two weeks for physical therapy. Last week he was skeptical about his new cast because he couldn’t run in it.

Um, you’ve only had it a week.

When he called tonight, he was exhausted. He. Did. Sprints.

Sprints!

AND he signed up for a 5K for ten days from now! What?!

OMG. I guess I needed a huge sign to hurry up and sign up for this month’s 5K.

I do need focus right now. I’ve been jumping from one thing to another since he left. Pinterest has got me addicted to making stuff. The kids have me busy, period. While I am being selective about what sub jobs I take, I am really lazy by the time I get home from work. Too lazy to do laundry. Too lazy to straighten up.

Thank goodness for frozen pizzas from Trader Joe’s.

Too lazy to upload the pics of my latest paint projects: 2 corkboards, 3 frames, and 2 mirrors. They are so cute! Okay, so I haven’t even taken the pics yet. Tomorrow. After work. (Doh.)

Hmmm… another 5K and so soon after the holiday gluttony? Maybe a 5K will give me direction, a routine, and another goal to work towards. I don’t mind if I am running in circles; I am just happy I’m still in the race.