Friday, September 27, 2013

Turn Turn Turn

The Byrds are in my head. Or Ecclesiastes, depending on your bent. My favorite "Season" song is by The Zombies, but that doesn't capture the trudging through, the holding on, the letting go. For obvious reasons, it lacks the Biblical gravitas and comfort.

R&R number two has come and gone, and though it seems to Husband that he's been there forever and seems to me that time has both gone ludicrous speed and crept to a trickle, we are only halfway through this tour. Or maybe: hooray! we are halfway through this tour.

I feel strange claiming "we" are halfway through anything. As I looked around my kitchen this morning, surveying all the dishes that weren't magically done overnight, I sighed, acknowledging in that breath that it's all on me again. It's all on me, in Denver, with the kids, in our house. With restaurants and grocery stores and family and a friend here or there. I can't complain. I even have a personal trainer. Egads, my life is horrible.

But Husband, in his tiny room, with his kids far away...but Husband.

We've done this before, but the raw and inescapable truth is that leaving your one year old for a year is quite difficult, but leaving your two- and five-year-old for a year is a horribly cruel thing to do to yourself or have done to you. We ask this of diplomats, soldiers, Marines, airmen, and sailors. We've asked this of Husband and I note with no small amount of guilt that we have not yet asked this of me. The sad truth--the pitiful truth--is I don't know if I could. It's sad because it's my job, yes, but it's even sadder because Husband's been asked twice. Girl still wants Mommy above all things and...I can't. I can't tear away. Husband can barely do so, and it is only because of his commitment to so many things and above all else to our family that he did.

It was an R&R marred by epic rainfall and a long and lingering stomach virus all around. It was a vacation into the ordinary, with school pickups and swim practice. As he was gathering his things and his wherewithal to return to Afghanistan, Husband admitted that no amount of sunshine, no surfeit of good health, not even a new motorcycle or a million margaritas would have changed what had to happen. He went back, as he must, and he will trudge on.

And we will be here, waiting.

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