My question for this post is, "How do you count down the time while your spouse/significant other is away?"
My life has been a series of semesters for the past 4 years. I have been in grad school since August of 2003. I have found that my "time gauge" for DH's return from wherever is based on semesters (or mid-terms, finals, etc.).
When DH was deployed to Iraq I knew that once the spring semester was over we would be about 1/3 of the way through the deployement. Then, at the end of the summer semester we would be over the hump and the countdown would really begin (estimated date of return, of course). BUT, DH was wounded in the middle of my summer semester. Believe it or not, I completed the semester through snail mail and e-mail, including writing two papers. UGH!!! It was not easy, but I am very persistent (and quite stubborn!).
Currently DH is gone and has been since 11 June. This go 'round I knew that the end of my summer semester would include DH coming home (he's TDY on the other side of the states). I have finished my summer class, but I still have my internship. The good thing is that 3 days after I finish my internship (for the summer) I will get to see DH!!!
This current separation from DH has been really hard for our 4-year-old daughter. She cries often and says she really misses her daddy. And she asks, "Why did the Army need Daddy to go to Ft. Lewis?" We showed her where he is on the map and she tells everyone where her daddy is... but that doesn't stop the tears.
I have been telling my daughter, "Daddy will be home in August" all summer. Well, much to my heart ache as a mother, the other day my daughter said, "Mom! Next week is August and Daddy will be home! YAY!!!" I had to break her poor little heart and tell her that yes, the month of August does start next week, but Daddy won't be home until later in the month. She just didn't understand. I got out a calendar and explained to her what I meant. I feel bad that I gave the wrong impression about when DH will be home. But I did learn that I need to be more specific next time and explain things a little better.
Mommies (and Daddies) and 4-year-olds don't have the same "time gauge."
What's your time gauge?