You know you are under stress when you and your husband get snippy when discussing plans for picking him up from the airport after the deployment for which he has not even yet departed.
When he comes home he will report to the station which cleared him for deployment. From there, he will fly home. He just learned yesterday that his time at that station could be nine hours…or nine days. A military family’s motto is Semper Gumbi!
When he called last night, instead of saying that, he said something about calling me from the airport to tell me he’s ready to be picked up. Or maybe he said he’d call me and tell me that he was getting on a plane and would arrive in a few hours. But all I really heard was “airport” and “home” and “zero warning” (my personal translation).
Now, first of all, I am still upset about his last surprise return. I do not ever want a repeat of that. Not funny. Plus, I imagine him returning to a less than clean home and my hair is in curlers and I’ve got avocado on my face and I’m watching a chick flick that is making me cry so my eyes are puffy and red and my head hurts.
Secondly, I have my own vision of what his return will be like. I am already planning it, even though he hasn’t left yet. It’s a comforting daydream. It involves bathed children dressed in nice clothes. It has me looking gorgeous with hair I actually blowed dry and I have make up on and I’m wearing that attractive black suit that has hung unneeded in the back of my closet all these months. It has a nice meal waiting for us (at home or a restaurant, I haven’t worked out those details yet). No curlers or avocado or chick flicks in sight. The house is clean.
But instead of saying all that, I said something about “what if we have plans” and “what if I’m not home when you call” and stuff like that.
And he hears: “Previously arranged playdates and other appointments are more important than you.”
Which is not at all what I meant. And he knows it.
After a few deep breaths, we started over. He explained the uncertainty of the length of his redeployment, and I assured him of his preeminence in my life and my understanding of the flexibility that was required of us.
We will get through this. But first we have to get through this month, which will be harder than the deployment itself, I think.