This week I want to shout out to all of my fellow military wives. All wives and mothers are incredible, but we are especially badass. Here’s an idea; let’s marry our soulmate and build a life based on the premise that two adults will share the responsibilities. Let’s buy a house and a couple cars. And have some kids. And let’s get a couple dogs too. Why not? But wait a minute…You’re going to leave me with all of this for weeks to months at a time, with sometimes only a few days’ notice?!?! Okay. I can handle this. I’m organized and strong and capable. Then the washing machine breaks and floods the house, his truck won’t start, and an unfriendly critter takes up residence under the deck.
Okay. Take the kids to Sears and pay to have the washer delivered and installed, all while never letting the delivery men know your husband is away. Because we are trained to be hyper vigilant while they are gone. Arrange to have the truck towed and fixed, and then call in a family or friend favor to pick it up. Because you can’t drag two kids and carseats into the courtesy shuttle the dealership offers. And the critter…Well, it’s a possum, and she’s stayin. I’ve named her Petunia and her pups. That’s right, she had babies. Much to our dog’s distress. He was very uncomfortable with our new house guest, but we were all making sacrifices.
And when I say uncomfortable, I mean he was howling and trying to tear up the deck. Bobos already gets anxiety when Nate leaves. Like in his mind, he’s supposed to protect the family while Dad’s away, and it’s just too much. He especially loses his mind when I leave the house with the kids, which I really only do during the day for a couple of hours at a time. Then I return home to angry notes from the neighbors about my dog’s, “Nonstop howling day and night.” They all get very bold when they know it’s just lil ol’ me at home. Well, watch out people, hear me roar. So just to summarize, four things happen EVERY time Nate leaves; something floods, something breaks, something moves in, and everyone’s emotional stability goes downhill.
Meanwhile, your husband feels more like a teenage son who’s going away to summer camp. Because while you are stressing, he’s giddy on the inside to go fight for the country he loves and make a difference. And be with his brotherhood. And when he leaves you are always worried about him, usually can’t contact him, and are left with the responsibilities of the life he left behind. Like his uniforms he dropped off at the dry cleaner and apparently never pick up. Or the appointment with the solar panel people he made a month ago and forgot to remind you about. Or my personal favorite, didn’t set up the cable and internet on auto pay, and you find out when it’s turned off.
So you call and find out that somehow, you are not on the account, and the fact that you are the wife and have all the passwords means nothing. “We need to speak to him, ma’am.” “I’m sorry, didn’t I mention he’s deployed? Like military? Like out of the country, fighting for your freedoms! Dude, do your part and turn my internet back on.” No go. So now I have to drive down there and shove the power of attorney in his face. All the while my two-year-old is destroying his office. Well, dude deserves it. And my two-month-old is hungry and crying, making my milk come in and drench my shirt. And you are like please, Lord, give me the patience and strength to not rip this guy’s head off. It’s not his fault I’m a freaking wreak these days.
And on the drive home you hear a country song and you lose all your anger to how deeply you miss your husband. And then just start uncontrollably bawling. This is all in a normal day. Well, no one can say that we don’t do our part for our country. We hold down the home front and keep this ship from sinking even when it has a thousand leaks. Make no mistake ladies, we are the backbone of our families. So others may live. Hooyah!