Already, Jeremy is gone again. It's amazing to me how quickly things turned back to "normal" upon his departure.
When did "normal" become three growing girls and myself in the roll of single parent? And wasn't it just a short time ago I was pining away the months, weeks, days, hours and minutes until he came home? Why does it feel like I can breathe again now that he's gone?
I remember all these emotions from years ago with our previous deployments and underways. Though, it seems remembering these emotions don't quite soften the surprise I feel when that exhaled breath leaves my lips.
When the boys are home, life revolves around them. Every wife I know is the same. We all take brakes from one another to hang out with the husbands we so missed, the family time we so desired.
Its been weeks, more than a month, since really hanging out with my girl friends as the kids run-a-muck outside or in a bedroom. More than a month since I started my mornings by walking into the kitchen thinking, Shit. What am I going to do about supper?
That one question, What am I going to do about supper, wouldn't even be a question when Jeremy's not home. What's for supper? Tonight it was quiche muffins. Last night it was oatmeal. Tomorrow? Who knows, I'll figure that out tomorrow.
Today I finished six loads of laundry, made two batches of chicken stock, did school work with Kyra and played Hi Ho Cherry-O with Lydia all while maintaining a steady stream of distractions to help Ruby stay out of trouble. There was little thought of supper before 3 o'clock, Ruby was asleep by 6 and the big girls were showered, read stories to, prayers done and in bed by 7:30.
When Jer's home I wake up thinking about supper. I make lunch wondering what I'm gonna do about supper. I spend nap time rifling though cabinets and fridges and freezers wondering what the hell I'm going to throw together for supper.
I'm out of the habit of catering to another grown up other than myself in the house and all the preplanning and forethought that goes with it.
I need to get back into the habit again of making menus and planning meals. I need to quit worrying about what the fuck we're eating for super. I need to make having Jeremy back in our lives the new "normal". I need to savor the moments when he's here and not breathe a sigh of relief when he's gone.
I know what I need to do, but that doesn't make it any easier to put into place when I know that each time he comes home it's only for a visit before the boys are gone again.
I remember him coming home from work one night while we were still on shore command. He was telling me about a student he was counseling. The student was worried how his wife would handle the comings and goings of the submarine life. Jeremy's sage advice was actually a quick story about me; how every time the boat leaves I get angry, flustered and emotional because he's left us and disrupted the routine and every time the boat comes home, I get angry, flustered and emotional because he's in the way and disrupting the routine.
He's right. What a keen eye he has for that bit of detail. That boy is smarter than he lets on, sometimes. When he's home I have one routine; when he's out to sea, I have another. Each one disrupted with every new coming and going.
So here I am, accomplishing more in one day than I have in a long time so I can swing myself headlong into a new routine. I'll give it a few days before the glitter and rainbows disappear and I'm flustered, overwhelmed and wishing him to come home, again, and breathe that sigh of relief.
Its a cycle. And with the change up of each new cycle I find myself breathing a new sigh of relief. Whether it's over not having to worry about supper or extra hands to hold you up when you're exhausted, there's always that sigh of relief.
Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Sigh.