The Constant Thing About Deployments....Whether Your First or Fifth

>> Thursday, March 6, 2014

As I flipped over the calendar to March yesterday morning (yes....I'm almost a week late....), I realized that My Marine has been home 9 months already!  This time last year, I was in the throes of yet another deployment.  I remember someone saying to me before he left, "Oh, it's got to be a little easier for you this time around....."  As I stared at this person, I paused before speaking -- really weighing my words before responding that, it doesn't get easier.  Each deployment, each TDY brings it's own brand of crazy.  This time around, I was having to do it with two girls -- two girls who were old enough to fully understand that Daddy was going away for awhile.  I didn't have that last time.....

BUT.....with that in mind....there ARE some things that stay "constant" throughout ANY deployment -- whether it's your first or your fifth......

*  Waterproof mascara?  It's a lie.........

*  Let's be honest -- you and your kids will eat more cereal, mac & cheese, frozen pizza, McDonald's Happy Meals and PB & J than you'd like to admit.  And there will be days....maybe even weeks.....where your laundry will consist of pajamas and yoga pants. 

*  If it can break -- it will.  Usually within hours of your Soldier leaving.  I've had electrical problems, plumbing problems, appliance problems -- all within a 48 hour period of My Marine leaving.  By this last deployment, my emergency contact list and speed dial included the Rear D contact, the plumber, and the appliance repairman.

*  The post man/flower delivery man really is not out to get you.  If you don't get a promised delivery/letter/package when you were supposed to, I PROMISE you it's not a conspiracy to drive you insane or plant the seed of "My Soldier doesn't love me".  Likewise, the clerk at your favorite liquor store is not staging an intervention when he tells you that your wine is not in stock.  Leaning across the counter and growling "You don't want to see me angry" will not help your cause.  Always have a backup liquor store just for these cases -- preferrably a drive-through one where you can still wear your pajamas......

*  If illness/broken bones can strike -- they will.  During My Marine's first deployment to Iraq, Nani came down with chicken pox the day after he left.  She was 8 months old.  This last deployment -- I contracted walking pneumonia.  It's bound to happen.  Stock up on chicken broth, ACE bandages, OJ, and put the number for Poison Control into your speed dial.......

*  Your brain will turn to mush and aside from pinning your To-Do list to your yoga pants, there's really not much you can do about except to buy Post-It notes in bulk and tell anyone who comes to visit that you're re-enacting a scene from your favorite movie "A Beautiful Mind"

*  Your car will leak, make noise, overheat, not heat at all, not start, start and stall, have a flat, have two flats, be thrown up in, be scratched and dented and have cracks in the windshield.  All I can say is keep your AAA up-to-date and your mechanic's number in your speed dial.

*  Your DVR/Netflix/Hulu queue will be filled with two things -- movies that you excitedly stockpiled because NOW you can finally watch all those tearjerker chick flicks that your husband won't watch...AT....ALL and mindless fluff shows that don't require much concentration or thought (Cake Boss marathon anyone?)  What you won't be surprised to know is that you probably won't watch any of them and this will lead your husband to ask "Why do you have Talledega Nights on the DVR from July 2012?" when he does come home and finds the DVR at 99% capacity and he can't tape the NHL All-Star game.  (Not that this happened here of course.....)

*  That Deployment Bucket List?  Yeah.......the only thing that should really be put on that list is SURVIVAL!

*  And finally......that last month before Homecoming will be here before you know it.  And you will run around like a crazy woman trying to "get everything done".  If there's one piece of advice you take away from this whole blog post it's this -- HE DOESN'T CARE!  TRUST ME!  He doesn't care if there's new carpeting, an addition to the house, new flooring, etc.  All he wants is to see you and the kids!  You will only drive yourself crazy trying to get it all done and you don't need the stress.  Take the time you would spend doing all that and hire a housecleaner.  And while the Merry Maids are scrubbing your toilet, get a mani/pedi, stock up the fridge with his favorite foods/beer, put fresh sheets on the bed, run the vacuum, and make a few homecoming signs.

But in spite of all these WILL get through it.  You WILL remember to breathe everyday.  And you WILL tell yourself that you will come out stronger than you ever thought possible.

Of course you're a Military Spouse!  Now go grab a bottle of wine, a fresh pair of pj's and tuck yourself in for an episode of Cake Boss!


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