Reintegration–The Family Visit

I’m sitting here at my in-laws tonight.  DH is off with his best friend from high school.  I could not be happier.  It’s been about three weeks now since DH got home, and a lot has happened.  I have a few other posts in the works that I want to get out about PCSing and Super Rad coming home, but I’ll get to them another day.  In these three weeks, DH and I have spent close to zero time apart.  I think he ran to the PX once for a light bulb and I didn’t go, but that’s been about it.  For the most part, I’ve enjoyed our time.  I’ve been soaking up the cuddles like no body’s business.  We have done some major driving, which has given us ample time to talk.  The first few days felt awkward to have someone following me around everywhere I went, but it didn’t take too long to fall into the groove again.

But seriously, people, I need a break.  It’s three weeks.  I want some breathing room.  I want to curl up and read a book in silence–something that seems impossible since Call of Duty 2 came out.  I don’t want to be asked where I’m going every time I leave the room for more than ten minutes.  I want to occasionally go to bed when I’m too tired to see straight and not at a mutually agreeable bed time set by him.  And I’m so over the toothpaste left to dry on the side of the sink.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my hubby.  I’m so happy to have him back, and I’ll gladly battle the toothpaste every morning if it means I can see his smile over my bowl of cereal afterward.  But the no personal space isn’t natural, and I wish we could move past it to a more normal state.  Unfortunately, he’s deploying shortly.  We’re getting used to each other, working toward normal, and holding on way too tight all at the same time.  It’s mentally confusing.

Block leave is a mostly welcomed part of reintegration.  I’m loving the lazy days where we don’t have to set an alarm to get up.  We’ve been spending a lot of time at the gym guilt-free.  Block leave also means that we’ve got to visit the fam though.  Ohhhh…

I don’t blame him.  I’d want to see my family too since he’s going to be heading out soon.  Plus, even though we’re not going to be here for the holidays, it’s close enough.  I’m the problem.  Spending two weeks in my in-laws’ spare bedroom isn’t high on my fun meter.  I have a stomach condition that decided to go haywire two days before we got here too.  Ugh.  If I have to turn down one more fried pork chop from my mother-in-law I’m going to scream.  Nausea means no eating…no matter how good it looks.  Period.  And is it so hard to get a decent bath towel??

They are wonderfully nice people, but this isn’t my home.  It holds memories for DH, not me.  It’s a tortuous excercise that has to happen just like pre-deployment training.  Hugs must be given.  Meals must be had.  And military spouses have to nod and grit their teeth while well-meaning mother-in-laws hand out advice about keeping a home clean.  I have the refrain of her baby boy leaving stuck in my head.  Her baby boy is trained to shoot people for a living.  I think it’s time to let that go.  I do not want to compete with her.  I will not.  We will both grieve when he goes.  We will both worry terribly and wait for each phone call.  But our feeling are not the same, and I resent her comparing them or lumping them together as one.  DH has already left her.  He doesn’t live in her home.  I will notice his day-to-day absence so much more, but I don’t get to lament over my baby boy leaving.

I had one small victory today.  I politely listened while the MIL went on and on about how my father-in-law will only eat her “special” pie crust because he’s so picky while I was preparing quick peach turnovers for dessert tonight.  I nodded while I brushed each with a little milk.  I agreed with her as I took them from the oven to let them cool.  And I only inwardly smiled so big that my cheeks hurt when he couldn’t quit raving about my crust.  Thank you refrigerated Pillsbury pie dough!  You saved one daughter-in-law’s sanity tonight.  🙂

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