Homecoming Happened!

After a long 178 days (who was counting?), and watching our tiny 3 week old he left turn into a giggly, dramatic 6.5 month old over FaceTime, my husband finally came home last Friday!

This homecoming was both much smoother, and much more nerve wracking than the last. The last deployment we went through was longer, with less communication, but this one- this one, a tiny little human we made was in the middle of it. This one hurt more and kept me busier and made me wish more than once it was over yesterday.

Last homecoming happened in the morning/afternoon- which would have been lovely for this homecoming because my drama king baby is happiest in the morning. It seems the Corps caught word of how convenient this would be for me, and decided to have homecoming take place at night. In the dark. After bedtime 😅 I told my husband “follow the sound of meltdowns, missed naps, and past bedtime- that’s where you’ll find us.”

True to form, while my son behaved ALL DAY LONG, and had me thinking wow, today is gonna be a good day. Tonight will be fine, about 30 minutes before we were getting ready to leave the house, meltdown mode engaged. I walked into the bathroom and he commenced to screaming and rolling around on my bed as though he had been dunked in liquid fire. Fantastic, right? All through getting dressed, having our friends meet us at my house, getting into the car seat, and driving to the grinder, my child was in hysterics.

As I opened the hatch of my car to get his stroller out, his wails pierced the air and my friend said, “is that my kid?”

“No, it’s mine.”

*she opens the back of her car and releases the the sounds of her own child’s tantrum*

“Oh, look at that. It’s both our kids.”

And that’s how homecoming went.

I kid, I kid. (Though the above actually happened)

We met our respective photographers, laughed with friends we hadn’t seen all deployment, and waited anxiously as the night got darker, children got antsier, and jackets got pulled tighter as it got colder.

About 2.5 hours after our initial arrival (and I’ll have you know, I waited longer than most wives before heading down there), we finally watched Fox Co. return home.

My husband found us, and if last homecoming had made my heart happy, this one filled my heart to bursting.

To watch a father and son meet for the {second}first time is something truly, wonderfully both heart wrenching and lovely.

I was so, so worried that Ev wouldn’t want anything to do with Rick. After all, he’d only ever had him physically in his life for 21 days, half of which were spent in the hospital due to some mysterious infection I came down with postpartum.

It seemed my worries were unfounded though, and FaceTime had done its job- Ev reached for his daddy and smiled and laughed and made me want to cry tears of happiness (I didn’t though, because my makeup looked great and I wasn’t about to ruin it).

You know that feeling of completeness, of absolute contentment?

You don’t realize how much you miss it during deployment. You forget how empty you feel when you feel that way everyday.

But when you experience the homecoming- after the anxiety, after the wanting to puke, after the worry and wondering- when it’s happening, all of that goes away, and all you’re left with is that overwhelming feeling of contentment and wholeness.

We went home, I put Ev to bed, Rick walked the dog (our neighbors who moved in while he was gone were very confused by his presence 😂), and for the first time in nearly 6 months we went to bed together, instead of me by myself with my phone on the pillow as we talked to one another.

The next morning, the 3 of us lounged around in bed, Ev reveling in the reality of Dad being home, and as I laid there watching them, all I could do was smile and wonder I don’t think I ever saw us here. Even after all those years of dating, two years of marriage, I never imagined how good having this family would feel.

Watching your husband be a father will make you fall more in love than you thought possible, and when he takes the baby so you can sleep for an hour and a half longer, you’ll love him even more than that.

It’s been almost a week, and we’ve fallen into our same old, same old. Granted, there’s a baby now- so we eat dinner later, get up earlier- but other than that, it’s the same. Ev and I have another accomplice on our Target trips, I have another set of hands, I’m back in the gym, Rick has gone back to work, and it’s as though my child has morphed into someone different overnight. There must be something about having both parents home, because I literally just wrote this while my child was awake and playing independently (this never happens, ever).

We’ll be back in Texas to visit next month, so if you want to see us, HMU. After that, we’ll be preparing for our cross country move and the next adventure!

XOXO,

Em.

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