You know when a 16×20 poster seems exceptionally large? When you’re standing in a nearly empty airport at 9 pm waiting for your husband to get off a plane. You know when all the odd looks and your giant sign don’t matter? When he finally walks towards you and hugs you for the first time in months.
As many of you know, A came home at the end of last month and I’ve been smiling like this ever since. It originally felt like the deployment would never end, but in that moment, it was like he had only been gone a day.
Every time a military spouse sends their loved one to war, we all wonder what version we’ll get back. Will they be the same? Will they come back whole or will pieces be missing or broken? Will we recognize them? Will they recognize themselves? Luckily for me, I get a very recognizable version of A back each time, albeit maybe a little skinnier and more tired. We fit together again as if we hadn’t been separated and things are almost completely easy again.
But what those viral military homecoming videos never show is what happens after the cameras stop rolling. They never show the adjustment period and believe me there is one! While I love my husband dearly and would take having him home over just about anything else in this world, I won’t lie to you: sometimes it’s weird having him home at first. I get used to doing things my own way on my own time. When you add in another person, even one you love, that all changes and you have to adjust.
Four deployments later, A and I still go through a bit of an adjustment period as we get used to a new routine. But being honest with each other and openly communicating when one is getting on the other’s nerves really helps us iron out any wrinkles. It helps us get back to being us again and making the most of the time we have together.
Do you go through an adjustment period when your loved one returns home?