Saturday, June 22, 2013

"I forgot to tell you..."

Bart leaves tomorrow.

It's been a stressful few weeks for the two of us: saying goodbyes (him), planning for summer (me), finishing the school year and just generally trying to get ready for the future that is now less than 24 hours away.

I'm not a secret-spiller on this blog, and don't intend to become one. (If I want my permanent record to reflect that I'm perfect in every way, well, it's my blog, right?)

I will say, however, that we haven't always been kind to one another these past few weeks. Too much stress, too much worry, too easy to take it out on your loved ones.

I guess the stress and worry shows on our faces, and this is where it has been nice to be here, in this little community of foreign service and military folks. They've all been through it, this journey we're starting, and they don't judge. Our friends have all been lovely and supportive and full of advice. I've gotten a lot of "I forgot to tell you"s this past week, as I've wandered the halls of the Embassy.

"I forgot to tell you," said the major. "when [spouse] deployed to Afghanistan for the first time, we didn't talk to each other for like a month beforehand. We were so pissed at each other all the time."

Said Trixie, who has done this a hundred times, "I forgot to tell you. You're going to hate him before he leaves. It's nature's way of helping you separate. You'll be ready to push him out the door."

And STJ: "Just wait until he comes back the first time. You'll fight about everything!"

Dear Lord. What have we gotten ourselves into?

Truth be told, there was a tad bit more bickering in the household over the last few weeks than is typical. You'd think, having been warned what was coming, we'd have been able to avoid the pitfalls, but apparently we're no special-er than the rest of you. Still- we've settled down and are both now focused on the task of getting him out the door.

Last night we had a few friends over for dinner. Mr. P set up Bart's new router so he can hook up to the Internet in Baghdad and Mrs. P brought the cupcakes and sympathetic ear. CL brought the wine, the scaryfunny Iraq stories and the playmate for Yogi. It was a nice sort of going away evening.

Today is all family. Pool, maybe. Ice cream and movie, maybe. Packing and re-packing (he has a strict 50-pound weight limit for his suitcase). Laundry and cooking and yes, probably a little bit of bickering. But we'll try to keep it to a minimum for today.

I forgot to tell you, my friends. Your support, your laughter, your hugs and snark and smiles, have meant the world to me in this lead-up phase. No turning back now, I guess. This time tomorrow, we'll each be on our separate paths.


Jill said... [Reply]

Been in your shoes. Twice. Survived. Twice. But there's far more gray on both our heads now because of it ...

If there's one thing I can say about this separation it's this. You will both truly appreciate the other in away you never did before. You'll also treat each other differently as well. Good and bad. Just remember to be honest. Painstakingly so. And you'll not only survive, but thrive. It certainly won't be an easy year. But I promise it will be ultimately be rewarding.

Just be sure to stock up on the wine. And the sanity.

Lindsey said... [Reply]

In good times and bad....that's what they say anyway. A good marriage doesn't happen without several moments of doubt...points where you're certain you'd be happier or better off without the other person. But, the truth is, when push comes to shove, you KNOW that your love for each other will win out. I like how your one friend described it as nature's way of preparing you for separation. I never thought of it that way but looking at it from that perspective makes me feel a LOT better about how crappy I've treated my husband preceding times apart. Buuuuut, I almost forgot (wink wink), try to dig deep and be sweet at least occasionally -- you will have a twinge of regret about that if you don't.

Donna said... [Reply]

What would I do without you, Jill? Here I go - following in your amazing footsteps...

Please. Write your own stuff.