There a few inalienable rights that military wives’ have, in regards to what tasks they get to do during a deployment. I say this rather tongue-in-cheek of course, but there are definitely some positives to a deployment. For instance, today I reorganized the entire playroom with not so much as a suggestion from anyone else as to how it should look. It was very relaxing! This day of cleaning was then topped off with a dinner for champions. The kids and I enjoyed cereal and fruit salad! Now, my husband would never mind if we had cereal and fruit salad for dinner. However, I hold dinner's to a higher standard when he is around. I like to please him. I like to cook meals that he says, "wow, this is delicious!" During my little cleaning escapade today I was talking on the phone with my sister. She was laughing at my zest for reorganizing the house. I am on a mission to get our house in ship shape before my husband gets back in T-Minus 20 some days. Today was great. I had all the kids in work mode, asking for jobs left and right. At one point Avagrace who is 4 and 3/4 and Violet who just turned 3, were fighting over who got to put the dirty clothes into the washing machine. Stefanie (my sister) was listening to this scuffle and to my response, only to add that it sounded like our house should be a reality TV show called Mommy's Gone Wild. Maybe I should call TLC. The life and times of a military family of 7, five children 6 and under, HA! Stefanie was also experiencing a day of cleaning and organization. She is newly married and experiencing the blending of "stuff". Her husband is an artist and is bringing all of his art "stuff" into their home. He also brought pee-brown towels (as Stefanie put it). She and my brother-in-law do not argue, they simply “discuss”. Well the pee-brown towels do not match my sister's bathroom. My sister, who has been a decorator from birth, must have matching towels in her very lovely bathroom. However, the fact that the towels do not match the bathroom decor does not bother Tremain in the least, he likes the towels and they are only two years old. So the towels are in a pile, all to their lonesome in a sort of limbo, until someone wins the discussion! This is the conversation that reminded me of all the naughty little things that I do on deployments. During the last deployment I ransacked my husbands’ closet, thus freeing it from all of the ugly clothes he refused to give away. Much to his embarrassment I found a pair of youth sized boxers that he had held on to since middle school! He is such a pack rat! I was able to clear out two trash bags full of old, ugly, and too small clothing. To this day he still doesn't believe that I did this because he cannot think of even one item that is missing!
Buying new things is so much easier and a lot more fun when my husband is deployed. You know the feeling you get when you find something amazing, that just knocks your socks off and so you just have to get it. You bring it home and you want to share your excitement with everyone. So you show off your treasure and share your thoughts but your excitement falls on the ears of one who hears in a different language than that which you are speaking. They smile and try to share your excitement but they just don’t understand. Then their voice of logic chimes in with a comment like, “Don’t you already have a pair of shoes like that,” or “Don’t we already have a pitcher.” You try not to let the comments bother you because you know that they do not understand how amazing the deal was. Nor do they understand that you do not have any shoes that are that shade of red with a peep-toe and ½” inch heal. Your other red heals are 1” and open toed! And the pitcher, well it is a vintage glass pitcher with a lid! He has no idea how hard it is to find a glass pitcher with a lid, let alone a vintage one! You see, it is much more fun when you can bring that purchase home and welcome it into your home without explaining how fabulous it really is. I just love vintage treasures that can be repurposed in my home and until Brendan see’s these treasures in use it is hard for him to find excitement in my paying for something that is “old” he doesn’t like “old” stuff. Now I do have to say that I have realized a common thread among us military wives that is not a good thing. It seems that our marriages suffer tremendously from the stressors of deployment, as if you didn’t know that. Unfortunately, our marriages also suffer from our spending habits. It is an easy thing to get caught up in spending when our husbands/wives are away. It is also a lot easier to make mistakes when one spouse is in one country with one bank card, and the other in another. This is especially a problem when you cannot speak to your spouse for several days at a time. Money can cause serious marital problems. It is a good idea for you and your spouse to determine ahead of time each others allotments for mad money. Then you can truly enjoy the luxury of buying without worrying about what they will say, hearing their opinions on your choice of expenditure During deployments it is also much easier to spend time crafting, writing, or hobby-ing. I often feel guilty if I am done doing chores and instead of spending time with Brendan, I am creating. I am sure he wouldn't mind. In fact this is an area of my life I need to put in the balance. I need to roughly schedule creative time in the studio, for works sake and for sanity sake. I need to make it a part of my daily life. I need to stop treating it like a guilty pleasure I sneak away to do. Hence my goal to reorganize my house and my life! I More over, I want to make it a point to allow and encourage my kids to be more creative too! I want creativity to just flow through our house like scripture, the Air Force, and air! Writing this blog though, makes me miss Bren even more. In fact, right now I am reaching for that shirt. You know the one that you wear when he is gone. The shirt that you spray with his cologne, or smear with his deodorant just so you can smell him and feel like you are next to him. In this shirt it is even easier for me to count my blessings. It is incredibly important to realize the things that help you to survive deployments. With the constant moves a military family makes, you cannot count on people to be part of your survival plan. Although it is important to get plugged in with people as soon as you relocate, you need to plan for when people aren’t there. My key items are the freedom to rearrange my home and the freedom to live without his clutter during deployment. Brendan is like Pig-Pen on Charlie Brown. I of course say that with the utmost respect and love. He is my husband, life partner, lover, and yes he is quite a mess. The day after he left the kids and I went on a "pick up daddy's stuff parade." We found four pairs of shoes, a uniform, three pairs of pajama bottoms, ear defenders, blousing straps, under shirts, PT Gear, etc. etc. etc.-all strewn about our living areas. While he means well, he just sheds stuff wherever he goes. Brendan also does not like rearranging or organizing at all! He wants everything out in the open, easy to see. I want everything in a box, cabinet, closet, or basket and put away until it is used. He wants to put a sofa in a spot and leave it there until we move. I want to change it up every few weeks. So our compromise is this....during deployment it's "mama's gone wild" in our house!