Friday, August 12, 2011

Back in the saddle.

That's me. On a horse. In 1976.

Check out the groovy bead curtain.

My parents were stylin'.

So, umm...long time no see, internets.

It's been a hard couple of weeks.

In case you missed it, my husband came home for his two weeks of R&R, and then went back to Afghanistan about a week and a half ago for another six months.

I know many of you reading this have been where I am. You've been through a long deployment. You're probably not surprised that I've been MIA for awhile. For the rest of you, let me try to explain.

Imagine that you haven't seen your spouse for around six months, and during that six months they've been in a place where people--some of them people you know--have died or been gravely injured. And even though you know your spouse is relatively safe, you also know that their living conditions are worse than you can probably imagine. Definitely worse than they tell you. And again, people have died.

But then they come home for two weeks! And it's glorious! You either go off on vacation, or visit family, or hole up at home, but whatever it is that you do, you put normal life on hold. Housework, errands, you name it. You do only what is absolutely necessary because you know you only get fifteen days, and even a confirmed OCD clean freak like myself doesn't want to squander any of it away cleaning toilets.

So, you spend your two weeks in a sort of suspended reality where there are no cares and few responsibilities, and oh--did I mention? You're not the one doing all the bedtimes and baths and discipline for those fifteen days.

And then the fifteen days end, and you go off to the airport and you kiss your spouse and wave goodbye and put them on a plane back to the place where people get killed and where you can't drink the water and where the stench is so overwhelming that you spent several days washing and Febreze-ing everything they brought home and it still smelled like human feces.

And you get home with your sad and angry kids and realize that all that stuff you put on hold for fifteen days is waiting for you.

And that you're back to shouldering the entire responsibility of parenting and all the crap (and vomit, and doctor appointments and back to school paperwork and homework battles) that comes with it.

And you spend a few days drowning in everything you have to do. But eventually you find your footing again and get your head back above water.

And that's where I am now. I'm still chin deep, and I think someone has been peeing in the pool, but I'm not drowning anymore.

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