Blogging here at Cammo Style Love has brought some amazing people into my life. So many wonderful military spouses, writers, advocates and just plain ole amazing human beings! Today I am excited to share Hope you enjoy this wonderful post that I personally felt a connection to and was so happy to be able to share.
“It’s just a month, Mom,” my almost 7 year old son tells me as I’m going through the ridiculous and unexplained emotional meltdown of preparing for (yet another) separation from my husband. I know his words sound callous, but it was, in fact, what I needed to hear. It is just a month. Of all the times my son has been without his father, this is one of the shortest. If he could see that, why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t I be as adaptable and ok with it as my kids were?
Was it because I knew what went on behind the scenes? The last three weeks of “go, no-go” that we endured with a final decision coming down 3 days before the departure date? A plan that had been set in motion over 6 months ago was slowly unraveling because of a lost piece of paper. A school that had been on his wish list for years was within grasp, but was being held up by some inability to communicate effectively between others. The hurry up and wait, the last minute packing, the anticipation were all compounding the fact that he was leaving, again.
Was it because I knew what he was going to miss? My kids are 5 and 6. While they understand how long a month is, how many weeks, how many days. They can see the big bold words, “Daddy Home” on the calendar and count down, but they don’t see what comes between. They don’t see that he’s going to miss a birthday and the first day of school - my daughter’s first day of kindergarten. All the fun things about preparing for school. All the hard things about this transition from one kid at home all the time to none.
Was it because I know what lies ahead? It took us a good two weeks to transition last time he left, and another solid two weeks when he came home. Pretty much we’ve been transitioning and struggling to find our balance since mid-April. He’s coming home to a new job with longer, often times more frustrating hours. He’s coming home to two kids in school, to homework, to extracurricular activities, to new friends, and a new schedule. And we’re fully expecting him to arrive on Saturday and be back at work in full-force on Monday before dawn.
Was it because this one is different? There are few guarantees in the military, but separations are one of them. With this being the 9th separation in our 8 year marriage, you’d think I’d just be over it. But as we change and grow together, these things feel different. And while I’ve gotten more used to doing somethings alone, the last few years have spoiled me. He’s been on a pretty easy schedule for a while and I’ve gotten used to relying on him being home in the evenings and helping out on the weekends. So when he leaves, it’s a bigger adjustment for us all.
Rebecca Alwine has been a military spouse for over 8 years, traveling the world and learning about herself. She’s discovered she enjoys running, loves lifting weights, is a voracious reader, and actually enjoys most of the menial tasks of motherhood. She is an avid volunteer, most recently as President of the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club and has worked as a career counselor for transitioning service members. She has a Masters in Emergency Management from American Military University and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Mary Washington. Her writing has been published both in AUSA’s ARMY Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine, on Many Kind Regards, and multiple digital magazines and blogs. You can follow her on Twitter and on her website.