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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Homecoming Hyperventilation


Wow. Just... wow.  I think we might make it.  We might actually survive this deployment and live to tell the tales.  Well, the worthwhile tales at least.  We're close.  No, I'm not telling you when, I'm not "that" wife, but we're so close that the milk won't expire, and I should probably at least locate a razor for my legs. Don't judge me, peeps, it's winter in the North Country, and who the heck do I have to show my legs off for?  No one?  Right.

So anyway, homecoming is upon us.  Soon.  Can I just say that again? SOON.  Oh, I love the sound of that, let's say it one more time: S.O.O.N.

Okay, so this whole blog is going to come out all sorts of discombobulated because, well, I can't quite keep a straight thought in my head.  Sorry folks, I've mentally checked out of the game.

Prepping for homecoming isn't a one-day affair.  Oh no, not if it's done right.  There are outfits to choose, a house to clean, a sign to paint... the list goes on and on.  I've tackled most of it.  The house is as clean as it's going to be with 5 kids, I've picked up his favorite things, ordered a fantastic outfit, and primped as best I can.

You see, this is when the joy tempers with a little bit of anxiety.

For every beat of joy in my heart, there's also the slightest hint of trepidation.  I don't want you to think that I'm negative about him coming home, oh nothing could be further than the truth than that.  Rather, I'm anxious because our family has undergone a huge amount of change these last nine months, and while Jason has watched via-skype, he hasn't been immersed in it.  I've never had a period of my life where I've gone through so much change, and I'm nervous as to how he'll handle it... how we'll handle it.

Changes?  What changes, say you?

Well, the last nine months have been incredibly good to us.

First off, the man loves to eat his junk food, and what did I do?  I went Paleo, took the kids gluten free, and basically removed every processed food from this house. The benefit?  I dropped 70 lbs, and I'm actually under the weight he met me at.  Heck, I'm at the weight I graduated high school at.  But alas, there are no doritos in the pantry, no tasty-kakes in the freezer.  I've completely destroyed and rebuilt the way we eat.  Jason has asked for a few weeks to "binge" on the foods he's missed, and then he says he's all for the change, but still... anxiety.

Second, I run.  Before Jason left, the most exercise I got, besides um...  activities which shall not be named... was walking while we shopped.  Now, I run.  A lot.  Well, not as much since Princess Pumpkin arrived, but still, cranky mama gets a mood makeover the minute my shoes hit the treadmill. Why does this give me anxiety?  Because it takes a considerable amount of time, which I never have to really answer for when Jason is gone.

Time.  Oh man.  Do you know what I'm doing right now?  I'm lounged out on the couch with our sleeping bulldog, watching Pride and Prejudice.  Jason is soooo not a Jane Austen fan.  Shame really, he's such a Darcy.




Sigh.

 Anyway, I haven't watched baseball, or football.  I haven't gone to social things I don't want to.  I haven't answered to anyone for my time, or thought of anyone else's needs besides our kids these last 9 months.  If I've wanted to go somewhere, I went. I didn't ask anyone what they thought, because I've run this freak show solo for the last nine months.  Let's be honest, the last 18 months, since he's barely been here a breath since then...  yeah, a little anxiety about handing over the reigns to my time.

Next?  This whole writing thing I do as a hobby?  Yeah, I'm blessed to get paid for it now.  Not for this blog of course, I'll never let anyone pay me for this blog, and I have a strict no-advertisement rule, because this is my family, our life, not your billboard.  ;)  Anywho, I'm lucky to write for another blog as a professional, and then there's that... whole...

BOOK DEAL. Yeah, I finished Full Measures after Jason left, and it sold, and is being published a month from tomorrow.  Insane.  So now I write as my career, I'm just lucky enough to do it from home.  But that means my time is swallowed up.  It's delicious to play with my imaginary friends all day, but when Jason left, it was just a hobby.  Now this is my career we're talking about.  I have a full-time job and full-time kids and house.  I have to admit, that it's thrown me for a loop, so I can only imagine the loop it's going to throw Jason.  He's immensely supportive, but still, it's a huge change.

And then there's our biggest change, and our greatest blessing:

This little Girl.  We've waited two years for a chance to foster, a prayer to adopt, and something always told me she'd come while he was gone, but I never really believed it.  Well, she's here.  When Jason left, we only had these four boys living with us, and our baby was 4.  Now there's a car seat in the kitchen, a bouncer in my office, a jumper in the living room, a jungle-gym, and a pack-n-play... and oh, Princess Pumpkin.  She's become like the sun in this house, and everything revolves around her.  She's the only thing the boys agree on, the first happy smile in the morning, the breath of peace at bed time.  She's the biggest change we've had, and definitely the most welcome.

So those are my little anxieties, and it's natural for a spouse to feel them.  After all, our world goes through upheaval at deployment and redeployment. But you know what trumps these anxieties?  The sheer joy that races through my blood stream when I think of jumping into his arms, of introducing him to our little Princess.  The thought of that moment brings tears to my eyes even as I type this out.  They've met on Skype, he's watched her play, talked to her, but I can't wait to see her in his arms.  I hope he knows what he's in for, because she's going to have him wrapped around those tiny fingers instantly.  Jason acts all bad... but he's such a softie for these kids.

Don't worry, you won't miss it.  ;)  One of the biggest parts of my homecoming prep was locking down my friend Ginger Lashley, who is also Gypsy Thorn Photography, to come and shoot it.  Why?  Because capturing that moment when we collide, when I first get my fingers on his skin, is precious, but what comes after?  When I get to hand our Princess Pumpkin over to him?  I never want to forget that moment, and I want her to see it when she's older, I want her to know how very loved she has been from the start, how wanted, and longed for, even if she doesn't stay.  I knew Ginger could handle the angles right, since we can't show you pics of our Pumpkin. I also knew that there was no one else I'd want to shoot it, since she'd done our deployment pictures, and we're coming full circle... finally.  I also have a dear friend coming who is going to hold Pumpkin so I can jump Jason in the melee of euphoria that exists after "dissmissed!" is shouted.

Homecomig is soon.  Everything is as ready as it can be, and even if it isn't, I'm reminding myself that he doesn't care.  He doesn't care if the frig is cleaned out, or if I haven't gotten the boys' hair cut in a month.  He doesn't care if my hair is done, and I don't care if he smells like airplane.  He doesn't care what I've done wrong, or what I've done right, only that we're still his.  All of us, and he's coming home.

Whuh.  Let's say that again.  He's coming home.

This is coming to an end.  Sure, reintegration isn't always easy, and if someone told you it was.... well, they lied.  But I'll take reintegration over deployment any day. ANY DAY.  So yeah, we've had some changes this last 9 months, but what hasn't changed?  He's still my world, my gravity, my north star.  There's no war on this world that could alter that.  This kind of love destroys anxiety, pulverizes worry, and is basically unconquerable.  Yup.  I declare it so.  ;)

It's Homecoming time, peeps, and I may need a bag for this hyperventilation, but I am soaking up every ray of joy streaking through my heart, because it connects me to him, and he'll be in my arms soon.  SO SOON.





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