I recently was talking with a friend of mine who is a deployment virgin, about the trials of dealing with deployments. It brought back a lot of memories and brought up some issues we still have to deal with.
The first time the Big Squid left was when he left for boot camp. We had never been apart, even over night since we started dating, let alone since we had been married and I was preggo with our first squidlet. We of course sent letters back and forth, and in total he was gone for bootcamp, and a month of A-school before we saw each other again. A week after I had our little girl, he was able to come home for 48 hours to visit.
I will never forget the feelings I had when I picked him up from the airport. I saw him standing on the curb and the butterflies in my stomach started their own private mosh pit. I have never seen a more handsome man in my life. He got in the truck and while I knew the face, I felt like a stranger was sitting next to me. He had changed so much in such a short time. I could see it in his eyes, and in how he carried himself. He was a new man, and I didn't know him.
I felt like it was our first date again. I tried to look my best under the circumstances and was on my very best behavior. We had tons of people to see in a very short time, so we spent all afternoon visiting with friends and family. We spent those two days doing what ever he wanted to do, it was his time and he decided what we did. Don't get me wrong, I truly love my in-laws but, I admit, at the time, I was bitter about it. I wanted him all to myself. I didn't want to share, he was mine! We had a baby now and I wanted so much to sit and just talk to him and get to know him again. I knew it was selfish, but I didn't care, here was this amazing man and all I wanted was to hold him and never let go. I don't regret doing whatever he wanted to do, it was 2 days of the rest of our lives. I got over it and eventually started enjoying the time we had together. But, those feelings I think every woman feels when her hubby comes home from being away for 2weeks, 2months, or 2years. Part of deployment is finding a happy medium to make sure everyone gets what they need when you are together again. I don't think it's limited to extended family, making sure one child gets as much as the others, as well as your spouse has to be so difficult on the returning person. I am sure that my Big Squid feels pulled in 3 different ways when he walks in the front door.
Now that we have dealt with a few more separations we have learned a little along the way, and some things have changed. Each time he comes home I still feel like he's grown as a person while he's been away, but I don't feel like he's a stranger. And while I still want him all to myself, I know that even if we have tons of people around he is thinking of me and I'll have my turn. One thing that hasn't changed is how giddy I get when I know he is coming home. And when I see him the butterflies always come, and they still mosh.