On Thursday I picked husband up from the airport. Of course the plane had to be delayed, but hey, we've waited 7 months to see him, what's another hour?
When he walks up the corridor Louisa yells, "There he is!" I looked and looked and since I have really bad long distance eyesight, none of the soldiers looked like him. As he gets closer the kids run to get him. Is THAT my husband? Seriously?! Where did he go? He's so skinny! I just couldn't believe that was him. I tried very hard not to cry. But, Oh Lord! did that hug feel good!
Hunter was a little skeptical, having not seen his daddy since he was 7 months old. But he quickly warmed up to him. Whew... that was a relief. We were both worried Hunter would cry and run away at the sight of daddy! And in his military uniform with ruck sack strapped on his back, he looks a little formidable.
So since Thursday, we've gone to his favorite restautant, he's ridden his Harley, and best of all, I woke up this morning to a sparkling clean kitchen and he was working on straightening out the garage. What a man!
He's told me some crazy stories about things he's been through. Nothing I can repeat. But pretty much, he's been to hell and back and is not looking forward to the return trip. He's a soldier through and through, though. I married him knowing that a small part of him will never be mine. That's what you accept when you marry a military man. I just thank God there are men like him doing what they do. The people in Afghanistan are all thankful for the US presence and it makes me feel good knowing that he's doing something positive. Helping to build communities, keeping the villages safe, and working with the Afghan soldiers.
There were several things that he was happy to see again or to have again. Things that we take for granted and that, until he had this experience, he took for granted as well:
cities, not villages and mountains
a toilet and shower
a building with real walls, not mud huts
stores to buy whatever he needs
and of course, his Harley!
There's so many things that they go without and I don't think I realized all that he's been missing. Although he doesn't usually talk a lot when he calls, he just wants to hear about the kids.
So for the next few weeks, we're a normal family again. Normal.... as normal as a military family can get anyway. And I plan on enjoying every second!