Deployment/PCS Homefront Military Kids/Special Needs

Transitions

“Just Pedialite for the boys,” I remind him as he gets their cups ready.

“And where is the Pedialite?” he asks.

“In the medicine cabinet,” I answer quickly cleaning up another bout of sickness from one of the boys.

“And which cabinet is that?” he asks looking completely confused in the kitchen.

“The cabinet with the medicine, C,” I responded with the biting sarcasm that would accompany any mother who had been nursing two sick children since the day after her husband returned from war. 

“Babe,” he said, keeping very calm, but obviously frustrated, “I don’t know which cabinet that is.”

Oooohhhhh yeah … oops. Of course he doesn’t. He has never lived here. He doesn’t know where to find a fork yet, let alone medication. Man, I’m dumb.

 

It is so easy to forget that our lives have been so very different over the past eleven months. It is so easy to forget that while we spoke nearly everyday, saw each other over Skype, told each other about our day to day, we did so from two different continents, that might as well be two very different worlds. It is so easy for me to become frustrated when he doesn’t know something that seems so simple to me before I am reminded that he cannot know because he hasn’t been here.

And he really got thrown into it. His very first morning home we woke up to not one but two very ill children. The day after he drove his new Jeep for the first time he spent hours cleaning out the result of that sickness from my car rather than joy-riding in his. He was thrown into a home that he had never stepped foot in before, where things were in places he couldn’t possibly know. His clothes in places that he hadn’t decided on. His things put in places that I had chosen.

How hard must that be to go from one place of complete control – where every decision was your decision, every placement of every item left to your choosing, every little thing being in your hands – to a house that you don’t know, where your things have been unpacked for you and placed in places you may not have chosen yourself. Where you have to depend on the knowledge of someone else just to find a towel or a spoon or a a packet of Pedialite for your child. Where your three-year-old-child knows where more things go than you do.

How strange that must be.

Lord, give me the patience. Lord, give him patience. Our two worlds must be made into one again and what a transition that will be.

 

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7 thoughts on “Transitions”

  1. I have not been through a deployment yet, so while reading this I am taking notes.

    I always like assume that when my husband does deploy and comes home there will be like this magical time. Where it is just the two of us, and we are reconnecting, alone. But, unfortunately that is not how it is. I am sure there are a lot of things that need to be rediscovered all while being thrown back into a life where you two physically exist together again. It must be very difficult. But this is what we do as military spouses. This is our reality. It works, somehow.

    I am sure within a matter of weeks, things will be back to normal. After you give him a proper rundown of the new house, of course. 🙂

    1. That is exactly why I wrote about this – so that first-timers know what to expect. Sometimes it is easier than others. Thank you so much for commenting! : ) You are right – this is our reality and we just HAVE to keep moving forward. And somehow, it does indeed work.

  2. that’s my biggest fear. that when my husband comes home everything is going to be strange to him. we haven’t moved houses, but i have moved stuff within the house. no on purpose but because i’m organizing. I just don’t want him to feel overwhelmed when he returns.

    how did you manage to deal with it?

    1. We have been needing to communicate like CRAZY. Being honest and real about what is hard for each of us. Example – I reorganize ALL the time. I am constantly moving things. I have completely stopped doing that so that he gets used to it. We are just communicating as best we can. I can’t know what’s in his head and he can’t know mine unless I tell him. It’s basic – but it is still very easy to get overwhelmed and forget.

      It’s a struggle for BOTH of us. We are BOTH transitioning. Your best weapon to combat it is to understand the reality and to face it head on. Experience makes you stronger – and when you don’t have it – learning from those around you that have BEEN there prepares you as best as possible.

      Thanks for commenting, Ines! : )

  3. Megan,

    This is an EXCELLENT article! Chances are that this very important topic is frequently overlooked during the re-integration process. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for making HUN readers aware of this potentially awkward, frustrating scenario!

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