Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The E word

And no, I don't mean "E" as in my beautiful, charming, precocious little daughter. I mean "E" as in nasty, low-down, stinking extension.

Yes. That E word.

Today marks the end of my longest year. I dropped M off on base and went home to our empty house 365 days ago. 365 days of ups and downs, strong days and meltdowns, disappointment and excitement. But, you see, the longest year is not over for us yet. Back that train up, my dear. Hold your horses and put away the party gear.

Because of that E word.

I'll admit it. Denial is my permanent state of residence. From the time we found out he was going, I was convinced he would be back in the states and in training for another 'Army thing' by September. Absolutely convinced. But then, September came and went. And still, I was in denial. Absolutely convinced he would be home by January. Clearly, he's not.

Stupid E word.

I suppose it's my number one coping strategy, this denial thing. As if, when I don't acknowledge the enormous number of days we are counting, there really won't be so many. We won't have so many to go, and there won't be so many behind us, full of missed memories. There are nights when I'm rocking E to sleep and I look down at her, all peaceful, and wonder how she got so big. How we got this far already, and how I crossed those days off the calendar without even realizing how time was marching on. One day, it will seem like I just dropped him off yesterday. And another, it will seem like it's been years and we still have years to go.

Extension.

There. I said it. Today, I'm not denying it. I'm staring straight into the fact that our family will have been apart for a year and a quarter. Fifteen months. And we are going to have fifteen months of two separate lives to put back together again. Routines, habits, personalities, bedtimes, personal space, independence, discipline, and a little bit of OCD. All tossed back together again with two headstrong adults and a toddler.

And it scares me.

Now, don't go taking that to mean I'm not ecstatic about crossing the next few months off the calendar. Nope, don't do that. God alone knows how much I miss my husband and how much I need him by my side. Even M can't fathom that, and I don't think he ever will. I just want to skip over that bumpy patch in the future and go right on to the blissful, picture perfect, happy family.

(And, if we're doing any skipping ahead . . . let's just skip to the part with a quiet beach, some lounge chairs, a couple of margaritas, and yeah, a babysitter.)

3 comments:

Heather said...

Wow, hon. I'm sorry. I could say some vacuous, glass-half-full, BS about "well, at least one year has flown by." Screw that.

Be pissed. Be frustrated. Be sad. And know that all us fellow blogger buddies, poor substitutes that we are, are reading and supporting you each and every day.

Thanks for sharing!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

A year is forever. A year plus three months is even worse. It's just not right, and you have reason to be pissed.

Jenn said...

It totally blows that your longest year just got extended...isn't a year enough?? I know how fast time flies by with a toddler in tow, but I imagine that being without your man slows it right down again. I'd be pissed too!