Monday, April 06, 2009

An inside view of R&R

Having Kevin home is a great and wonderful thing. I find myself staring at him and welling up with emotions. After being apart so long sometimes it's hard to accept that he is really here. It really is about the small things. Seeing him across from me at the dinner table. Rolling over and brushing his leg with mine in bed.

Having him home for a short time though after a long time apart can be stressful. The only reason I'm writing this is so that those who don't live this lifestyle can get a glimpse of all the aspects of what we go through.

I'm not complaining and that is not what it's about. Soldiers get a briefing before they come home about acting like a "guest". They are told to remember that after a long time apart that things may be different and there will be an adjustment phase. I certainly don't treat Kevin like a guest in his own home but there can be friction when one is used to doing things a certain way and someone disrupts the flow. Sometimes it's hard to remember that he hasn't been around for a while and so he doesn't know that this is how things are. It doesn't matter if you talk daily on IM or the phone, you can't learn all the things that have been put into place. Change happens daily in all our lives and when you are gone for an extended period of time you have to expect it.

So that is where friction comes into play. For me, who has been here every day, I lose patience when he asks me questions about things I feel he should know. I have to stop and remember that 10 months is a long time to be away and while he "knows", he doesn't always know how things are done or whether I've changed how we do things.

I also know that I don't "need" Kevin as much as he would like to be needed. Being as independent as we have to learn how to be with our spouses gone as much as they are, it's hard to give up control of the things. Sometimes the Soldiers have a hard time accepting this new sense of independence. Poor Kevin has had to deal with an independent wife since we got married but I did let him get the oil changed and the truck inspected last week..woohoo!!

I'm not saying we are fighting or even that we are spending all our time frustrated but this is an aspect that a lot of people don't talk about.

It's also hard trying to get back into a routine of sorts knowing that after 18 days, he will be gone again and we will have to try to go back to our pre-R&R routine. Sometimes that's hard, a lot of spouses have a hard time after the leave. It's one of the reasons we chose to wait so long.

There are many who would love for these 18 days, I know that and trust me, I think about that often so please know I'm not complaining. I am grateful for the time and every real emotion that comes with it, the good and the bad.

My favorite aspect of R&R is the 18 worry free days we get. No worries of doorbells ringing or dreaded phone calls. I love that I can relax and just enjoy the time with my husband.

There are emotions that many in the civilian sector never get to experience. A true sense of pride that cannot be described in mere words.


Amanda Panda said...

Well said!

Shamae said...

Thank you for this Nadine. You did a great job providing a small glimpse into your R & R life. Take care.

Michelle said...

Very well said! I can relate to alot of what you are going through. We are currently preparing ourselves for our 2nd deployment. Have a great time while he is home!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

This was a great post! We totally have this same transition period! We didn't so much on R&R but only because Frank was coming back for Kennedy's surgery and he didn't come HOME, he came to a hotel in Philly so EVERYTHING was different for all of us, but when he came home after deployment was over we definitely had an adjustment period just like this. Thanks for sharing this!

WolfleyFamily said...

I think you worded it great for those who've never experienced it. I remember making myself not complete certain projects near the time Greg would come home so that he could do them (even though we all know I was fully able & capable). I also agree with the later-in-the-deployment R&R - we tried to make sure he was well past halfway because, you're right, it is a lot harder for the final few months following R&R. Enjoy your time with Kevin!!