Yesterday, as I was tearing the dishwasher apart trying to figure out why it sounded like a dyeing cow, I began to think of what has changed since April 2008, when he left. (After all what else am I going to do as pieces and parts of a dishwasher are strewn across the kitchen.)
- My three-year older is potty trained. That is a pretty significant change. We saw Hubby for a few days in June before he left for overseas and we were really close to being officially declared potty-trained. But now we are there!
- I have stripped & painted our old wooden deck. (It’s a new color even!)
- My now six-year old has started kindergarten. He rides the bus every morning & afternoon. He is growing more independent. I pack him a lunch each morning & he eats with friends. I ask him how his day was every afternoon & with a shrug of the shoulders he says, “It was fine, Mom.”
- Two out of three of our boys have had birthdays. They are no longer 5 & 14. I now have a 3, 6 & 15 year older.
- Each boy is learning to communicate differently. *C* was *barely* talking when Hubby left & can literally talk my ear off now. *E* has become a bit more with-held. Sometimes I have to play 20 questions to learn how his school day was. *J* is attached to his iPod & occasionally has to be reminded to put it away at dinner time. He seems to have some sort of ocular implant with it permanently attached to him. I also have to do the ’20 questions’ bit to get past the ‘grunts’ of how his day went.
- My relationship with my step-son (*J*), age 15 has changed. He has to come to me with questions, ask for help. I am the one to get him to school in the morning and pick him up from wrestling practice at dinner time. He is more reliant on me.
- My two younger-boys have been participating in swim lessons and have gotten over their initial fear of water, and their refusal to stick their heads under water. *E* (6 years old) can swim a few feet now. *C* (3 years old) can float on his back with a little help without flailing. He is developing trust.
- *J* has started high school. He is into girls, loves to text (wouldn’t it just be easier to pick up the phone and call someone?!), is learning to wrestle & played varsity soccer in the fall. I am watching him grow into a young-man.
- We all have a new routine at dinner time. I clean the kitchen while the boys clean the family room. Dishes are put away, counter cleaned off, toys are put in their appropriate place and misc socks and shoes are put in the laundry room. The house stays a little cleaner & we work as a team.
- *J* is taller than me! Is he really old enough to do that?!
- *C* has started preschool. Twice a week we climb into the car, drive over to the school, & I tell him, I love him after he is settled in. I pick him up 2 1/2 hours later and he is all smiles as he insists on showing me what he did that day. There we stand in the hallway of the school, pulling papers out of his backpack with a huge smile as we look at his accomplishments for the day.
That is a lot of change that Hubby is going to have to process. Some things more minor than others but as a package I can see how the whole ‘reintegration’ process can be hard on a family. But we are Army Strong! And this Army wife CAN NOT WAIT to hold him in my arms again! 🙂
– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com