In case I did not mention it here, M is in the Army National Guard where we live. When we met he was in Active Duty Army and was for 9 years. When it came time for him to quit, he had a choice, National Guard or quit totally. At the time, the Army was what he loved and did well, so I encouraged him to transition into the National Guard so he could still serve his country. Something he loves doing dearly.
The reality of life in the National Guard is not an easy life really. Yes, it is one weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer, but what they don’t tell the families until it is too late is that some of those weekends are 3 day weekends with training away from home and the whole 2 weeks in the summer, yeah away from home too usually, at least here it is. So, it is great when it was just the two of us. Although I missed him terribly, it was easier. Now that we have a 1 year old, it got progressively harder this weekend, as this is one of those 3 day weekends away from home.
See, when M had the 2 weeks of training last summer Jeff was so little he did not know the difference. Well, he did, but not on the level of this time. So, last night was the first night M was gone and Jeff sat at the edge of the bed on M’s side looking at the front door waiting for his daddy to come home. It was so heartbreaking for me to watch. When I would bring him back up on my side near me on the bed, he would crawl away and go back to his watch for daddy. Eventually, it included crying and rocking back and forth because daddy was not home. Truly heart breaking for me to watch because I can not fix this with a kiss or hug. He does not understand where daddy is, just that he is not here like normal.
Today so far, has been a rough day for us too. If M was home he would be working today, but because Jeff knows daddy did not come home, he knows this is not a normal day either. We are both totally exhausted because Jeff fell out around 12:30am because his little body could not take anymore. I on the other hand did not sleep well at all. All the noises that a house makes that you don’t notice are amplified when you are alone at night.
M will be home sometime Sunday evening, so I only have 1 more night to deal with. I am so happy about that. Although I think tonight might be worse for Jeff. I try to keep him occupied by playing with him and his favorite toys, but it does not always work. He knows daddy is not home and he misses him.
That is the reality of my life at this moment. There are other harsh realities about having a loved one in the National Guard, but I will save those for another post.