I've spent the last two days talking about the crazy, the sad, and the scary, so today I want to clarify that it's not all bad! I'm still in the learning phase, I may never graduate from it. This is a whole life change, and hey we're "Brand New."
This Army life is all new to us, it's not something you can prepare someone for, it's more one of those live and learn situations. You do a lot of playing by ear and adjusting accordingly. However, there are a few pleasant changes that this new experience has made in my life.
First of all, you stop worrying so much about the little things. You don't feel like it's the end of the world when your husband leaves his towel on the floor in the bathroom, or wet on the bed, because a towel on the floor means he's home! You put off the dishes/laundry/dusting for the chance to wrestle with the kids in the bed as a complete family and you smile while you're doing the chores later because you took the time to make a memory you'll keep forever. The simple things that should always be important come back to the forefront of your mind. Dinner with the family becomes a daily ritual, because somewhere in the near future you wont have the opportunity, so you soak up every second that you have and become closer than before.
Josh and I must say, "I love you!" a couple thousand times a week these days. We know it, feel it, it doesn't have to be said, but we crunch them in like it's going out of style because it just feels good to say it, to hear it. We've created our own little language of winks and smirks and facial expressions. We touch each other so much more, a hand on the back when we pass each other in the hall, a quick squeeze before leaving a room, a kiss after a simple request... we just can't get enough of each other's company. This is the way it should be, we should remember daily why we fell in love with each other in the first place, we shouldn't let small things cause big fights, we've gotten really good at apologizing for things before they become a big issue.
Being away from each other for most of the last year was exhausting, but it was also this learning experience that moved us from thinking we were stable.. to knowing we were solid. Sure things still come up that we have to talk about and work through as a team, but we know each other on a deeper level now. Basic training doesn't allow for many phone calls, our communication was almost entirely through pen and paper. You tend to think more about what you're saying when you only have that form of communication. You look deeper, say things you might normally brush off or save for later, besides there's something really romantic about getting a letter in the mail. It's just a piece of paper, but it's filled with love and emotion, and you can hold it in your hands and for an instant feel like that person is there with you.
I developed a real relationship with the mailbox during basic, I'd hear the mailman pull up downstairs and scramble around the house for shoes, sometimes giving up and sprinting down the cold steps barefoot. I'd always stop at the box, key halfway up to the lock, breath deep and pray that there was something in there from him. If there was it was like a rush, giddy as a school girl, sometimes I'd even shout "YES!" It would keep me pretty excited for the rest of the day, it was like a lifeline. If there wasn't, well this is a positive post so we'll leave that for another day.
Homecoming, even if it's just from a few months of training, is like a mini-honeymoon. You know that old saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" I have to agree. Though I'd prefer to not need absences, it's part of my life now, best to see the happier side. There's nothing like the feeling you get when his arms wrap around you after being away so long. Your imagination can only get you so far.
Then there's the PRIDE. I could never put into words the feeling you get about your husband when he puts on that uniform and stands in formation. I know my fellow military wives are nodding their heads, it's the most beautiful feeling. Anything remotely patriotic has new meaning, some silly things even bring tears to my eyes now.
Mostly though, I just feel like we're more in love now, we've been through this whole experience together. We're growing together more and more everyday. So, if sometimes I sound like this Army life is awful, just know, that it's also brought me good things, blessed me in ways that I'm not sure I could have found any other way. I'm starting to ramble again, so until next time, you've been Nicked!