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Monday, February 25, 2008

Quick trip brings on befuddlement and weak knees

I could probably still manage to dismantle and reassemble an M16. Still, sometimes doing the simplest of tasks has the ability to wear me out and befuddle me. I know many of you mom’s feel me on this one. All at once, in one morning, while trying to race out the door, I was unable to locate my (1) cell phone, (2) the dog’s leash, and (3) an extra stash of diapers.

It’s funny how the most mundane tasks are capable of tripping up an otherwise put-together mom. However, I will add that all of this craziness came on a morning of a homecoming. My husband had been away and the kids and I were going to pick him up at the base. Situation normal, right? Not exactly. This time the trip was relatively short, we didn’t get a chance to get into our own rhythm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but most military wives can attest to the fact that deployments do have a sort of pattern at home wherein she/he and the kids develop a routine almost as if by second nature. The military member leaves, and things at home kick into “deployment mode”. We keep ourselves as busy as possible and try not to dwell on the absence of our beloved hero.

Now, it’s not out of sight out of mind. Instead, it’s more of a we miss you, but we are ok kind of flow. With this attitude, we just live. We go about things as if they were the same. So, what’s the problem? Well, when you get the call that he is coming home, your excitement builds. You suddenly lose the “attitude” because you are now ready to kick into reunion mode. Yippee! He’s coming home. It’s great, but can be overwhelming on so many levels.

This time, since the deployment was shorter than normal, I felt like screaming, But, you just left. I haven’t even gotten to go into alpha spouse mode yet. I’m not ready to share the remote again. The kids finally stopped crying and asking when you were coming home.

So, I tell the kids, Daddy is coming home. My oldest says, Mommy, he just left. We didn’t have enough mommy time. Um, ok. You have me all the time, I’m thinking. Typically, a military kid would be elated to hear that daddy is coming home. I suppose, though, that when you have erratic deployments like we do, the kids never really get into a groove. Things are always in flux. It’s got to be hard on them.

Anyway, the morning that we are trying to get out the door, I’m so overjoyed and bewildered at the same time that I think my brain shut off. I even almost locked us out of the house in my foggy state. Fast forward to seeing my beloved at the base: My knees grew weak upon seeing him, the sun seemed to shine brighter and my fog lifted. I suddenly felt whole again. The kids were thrilled and it would appear they were ok with losing out on extra mommy time. Daddy was home.

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