Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Checking In, Checking Out

So I was doing the math.

My husband has been gone for almost 18 months now. Yes, he was home for two and a half months last Spring, and he was home for two weeks at Christmas. But we've pretty much been living life without him for a year and a half.

And we're doing okay. We really are.

I hesitate to say things like, "Eh, we're used to it," because it makes it sound like we've moved on without him and that is not the case. But, well, we're used to it.

We somehow manage to remain a team even though we barely see each other. I'm honestly not sure how we do that. In some ways I know I do and say things that all the family advisers on base tell us NOT to do, but it works for me. For us.

We know each other pretty damn well and we have honesty. And we have commitment to keeping the team together. I think those are the keys.

But there are two things that weigh on me (or at least two things apart from the millions of parenting worries I have everyday).

The major thing is that I am worried about our reunion. As much as I miss that man, as much as I love him, I am used to living without him. Throwing him back into the mix is going to be hard. I'm trying to be realistic about it.

He's going to be annoyed at my sleeping habits. He's going to hate how I sleep in on the weekends. He's going to criticize how much Diet Coke I drink. He's not going to like the way I discipline the kids. He's going to be here to see all the weird ass things I do now because I spend most of my time alone.

And that's the second thing. I spend a lot of time alone. A lot.

I think it is starting to show. I'm getting a little weird.

Okay, if I'm being honest, I've always been a little weird. I acknowledge that. I like to be alone. I'm happiest in my own head. But my head can be a scary place.

Secretly, I have always been a little bit afraid that I am nuts. Crazy. Weird. Different than anyone. Obsessive, maybe? I have escapism down to a science.

Being alone so much brings all those weird things to the forefront. I am basically going into my own head for companionship, and that cannot be healthy.

But I also secretly think that maybe a lot of us secretly think we're nuts. Especially creative people. At least I hope that is true. My daughter seems to be that way. (Or maybe she just got my crazy genes.)

I manage to stay pretty damn normal as far as the world can see. And it isn't an act. I take the kids so many places when they aren't in school And when I'm socializing with the violin moms, or working on a project with other volunteers, or going to lunch with a friend, the nutso part of my brain does seem to shut off.

In fact, about 95% of the time I spend with the kids I feel normal. (The other five percent of the time is when I am wondering if they may actually truly drive me crazy, but I think all parents experience that.)

It all comes down to this. I like being alone. So maybe I kind of like the crazy part of my brain too.

In three months and seven days my husband will be headed back home. That gives me just enough time to start pulling my shit together.

His arrival will not be a magic solution for everything that's bothering us. I keep reminding my kids of that. But it sure will be nice to have him home again.

6 comments:

Lee said...

In some way, it'll be like "dating each other" time again. and the kids and Tuna Hubby will have to adjust to each other as well. Alas, I've NO idea of what to tell you so sorry about that. I hope the readjustment period is short and easy-going.

Lee said...

In some way, it'll be like "dating each other" time again. and the kids and Tuna Hubby will have to adjust to each other as well. Alas, I've NO idea of what to tell you so sorry about that. I hope the readjustment period is short and easy-going.

Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

As I look back, I do remember that my parents' "adjustment period" took some time. But, they weren't as "together" a unit as you are. When he came back, I almost think my mom resented him for awhile. He upset her daily apple cart. It wore off, and they got back to that cohesiveness that they knew so well after 30 years of military career. It helps when you actually LIKE each other.

I understand so well that person that lives inside your head. These days, in my alone time, (even though it cannot compare in any way, shape, or form to YOUR alone time), I think to myself how I now live with 3 other adults and a dog. I like the dog. She doesn't make me want to throw something.

I know it's not the same, but if its any consolation, I DO (very, very often) pine for the days when I WILL get to have a "reunion" with my husband. Yes, we're here together, but with Caris and Bryson still living at home, going to school and in their 20's...I miss our "twoness". I used to wonder if we will be the same "after kids" as we were before. Now I know we will be, and I just wanna get there.

You're fine. In fact, you're awesome. And if you're crazy...Honey, you ain't alone. :)

Jess said...

Not to diminish the burdens of life in the service, but I do think the families have it harder. Of course, the men and women actually serving have far more risks if they're working in a combat area, but I mean the day-to-day emotional burden. While those shipped overseas miss their families, their days are largely dictated by their work, but the families left behind have their worlds turned upside down--and then flipped again when their loved one returns home.

I hope the reunion goes smoothly, of course, but I do feel for you and the kids. It can't be easy adjusting to either end of the process, the departure or the return.

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