I have to say, these short bursts of hellos and good-byes get on my every last nerve.
Lengthy deployments suck for so many obvious reasons, but they have the advantage of providing a certain degree of predictability. You know your husband isn’t coming home for a long time. You can establish a daddy-less routine with your kids. You can live your life on your own schedule. You only have to say good-bye once. The separation is handed to you in one lump sum, and although it’s never fun, at least you can create your own sense of normalcy.
The small installments of separations are different. They’re disruptive. You can’t establish a routine because your schedule revolves around his. Just when you’ve adjusted to your husband being gone, knock knock, he’s home again and dumping his dirty laundry on your floor. And it needs to be washed NOW. Because he has to repack those uniforms in the next 24 hours.
You’re so excited to spend a weekend with your husband, but that time isn’t exactly quality time. After all, you only have 48 hours for you to do laundry, for him to catch up on sleep, and for both of you to explain to the kids why daddy has to leave again even though he just got home. Any semblance of a routine you established while he was gone gets thrown out the window until you have to put it back together when he leaves again.
But as disruptive as the separation installments are, I’m certainly not going to complain about being able to see my husband a handful of times during short, rushed visits as opposed to not seeing him at all. In this military lifestyle, we have to take what we can get! Those separation installments may be frenzied starts and stops with repeated good-byes, but I remind myself that they also come with repeated hellos.
So long lump sum deployments stay away! I’ll take my separations in installments please.