I swear my husband just got home last week. And yet, really, he just left. Again. Aaaagaaaaaaiiiiinnnnnn. I counted the other day and in the almost six years we’ve been together, we’ve said goodbye seven times. Seven times. Full disclaimer – only one time was for a deployment. Some were only for a week, some were for months, some we didn’t know how long until halfway through. Still. Seven times in less than six years. Damn.
This most recent time, I was standing at the airport, hugging him goodbye, crying like a moron, and he looked down and said, so…are you used to this yet? NO, I mumbled through my snot, I am clearly NOT used to it. And this time, there’s so much more going on than just me being on my own with the girls. I did that for six months this summer. I can handle it. I’d rather not have to do it again so very soon, but I know it could be much worse. This time, the tears were for way more than him leaving.
Because this time, I have to plan the whole move. Also, this time, I have to parent solo for two months while he’s gone at RECRUITING SCHOOL. The duty that gets worse response looks than deployments. So not only will he be gone while I supervise strange people packing up my entire house, while I try to sell a car like I know how to do that, while I try to figure out how to move us to a town that is probably nowhere near a military base and therefore nowhere near military spouses who get it, but I get the additional bonus stress of knowing we’re going to one of the hardest duties on a marriage in the Marine Corps. (Side note, the next person who tells me that the divorce rate for recruiting duty is 80% is getting punched.)
I knew it was going to be a rough two months when he came home with a giant bottle of wine and a stack of Powers of Attorney. A STACK, you guys: sell a car, ship a car, pack our house, get our tickets, anything necessary for the girls…I didn’t even look at them before I grabbed my biggest wine glass. I know what PoAs I have, but I still haven’t even looked at them to check the details.
Caleb was gone less than 24 hours and I had already visited DMO with my list of questions – when can I come plan my move? Do I really have to come in instead of using the website because I’m using a PoA? How long will it take the car to get to the mainland? Where does the car get shipped? Where can we fly? Will three days be enough for him to finish checking out? The Marines were very patient, though I’m sure the second I walked out, they all laughed at me. Ah boys, don’t laugh too much – I’m coming back and I’ll have more questions. I’ll remember your faces.
And, and I think this is the worst part, that stupid little voice in my head just will not shut up about the possibility of spending Christmas with my family. Guys, he comes home a week before Christmas. If I can have the house packed…and the car gone…and all he has to do is check out…WHY CAN’T WE? Caleb keeps telling me to shut the voice up, that it’s not going to happen. But I can’t! I can’t shut it up. I have missed family Christmases so badly, and now there’s a tiny glimmer of hope…I know it’s not going to happen, but it doesn’t matter.
I feel like I’m all over the place here, but that’s how I am right now. I have piles of stuff to sell (seriously…anyone want a car?) all over the house, stuff marked to be trashed before we leave, and yet I just started painting some of the girls’ furniture – like this is the best time for that. I was text messaging a girlfriend the night Caleb left and I swear she either thought I was drunk or was concerned for my sanity. I mean, I have ADD as it is, but all this stress and unknown (remember how I hate that?) is just killing me. It just feels like there’s so much to be done and yet, nothing I can do.
So I get to sit at home. Just me and the girls. Full of stress and no one who can help. And many more big bottles of wine.
AND yet – and this is totally bratty, but bear with me – I got so mad when some of my wonderful friends and neighbors told Caleb that they would watch out for me and help me while he’s gone. My first reaction was honestly, psh you’ll watch out for me? I’m thirty. I have two kids. I did this for six months already just THIS YEAR. I can handle two more. I don’t need help. I’m FINE. Even now that he’s gone. And then I remember the wine. And the stack of PoAs. And the to do list the length of a small boat. And I hope that these friends and neighbors really meant it, because if I can actually be a grown up about this, I’m going to need a LOT of help in the coming months.
But for now, as always in the Corps – I did my hurrying, so now I wait. Wait for all the stuff to sell, wait for actual orders, wait for him to, once again, come home.