Yes, yes, I know it's become rather obvious that despite some differences in the ability to tolerate filth and a definite tendency towards procrastination (not mine) that causes some rough moments, I pretty much think the sun rises and sets... well, you know. In a part of my husband's anatomy.
I've got to admit that when I start feeling irritable towards AirForceGuy for one reason or another it takes just a small glimpse of what other people see when he's with them for me to want to throw my arms around the guy and passionately pin him down somewhere. Especially if he's been telling one of his stories - like the one in which Tariq Azziz plays a walk on role. Or maybe the one about eating on the economy in Afghanistan and pretending you didn't see that mouse hiding under the platter. And those are just the funny stories. There are harsh ones, too, and ones that make me want to cry.
He's very special, that's for sure. And at no time do I see that more than when I have a chance to see my husband through the eyes of my children.
Today our family decided to take a day and visit the new Air and Space Museum just outside of Washington, DC. I mean, we ARE Air Force Family - it's probably the most appropriate place for us to make our grand debut, don't you think?
Right off the bat I can tell you that the place is AWESOME. Free, like the other Smithsonian museums (although you do have to pay for parking), and huge. And truly packed with amazing artifacts in aviation history.
There were a few issues with going, like the fact that I sprained my ankle yesterday somehow and should not be walking around. But I have a brace, and I just CAN'T sit around the house! I just can't! So I figured out how to hobble up and down stairs and balance on one leg for long periods of time while my kids soaked in what the docents had to say.
In between docents, my kids were at the mercy of their Dad. Now, my husband is not, was never, and will never be a pilot. He isn't a mechanic, either. The majority of his direct contact with airplanes comes from riding on them to one war zone or another and TDY assignments.
As we're walking from one static display to another, my kids are rattling off excited questions and comments. "That plane is a shark!" "That plane has a skunk on it!" "That is a big rocket!" "That plane has a broken wing!"
I began to realize (I tend to tune things out when my kids are jabbering away. Jabbering seems to be a nearly constant state for them and I need to find that quiet space in my mind for my own continuing sanity) that my husband was not only answering the questions and comments my kids were placing, but that the guy had a darn good idea of what he was talking about.
"Yes, that's a P-51 Mustang." "That's an SR-71 Blackbird. Did you know that they were made by a place called Skunkworks?" "That's not a rocket, it's a missile. A Soviet missile." and "That wing is not broken. They do that so they can put a lot of them on a ship."
Yes, sure, a lot of those little factoids are things that many people know. But I was intrigued, so I started watching my family tour the museum a little more closely. Sure enough, my husband was acting as a docent for the kids. At every display, and I do mean EVERY display, my kids would stop and ooh and ahh at whatever machinery was being shown. Without looking at the labels, AirForceGuy was rattling off names/facts/dates and doing so in a manner that kids from ages 4 to 9 could appreciate.
The guy really knew his stuff!
And I was so proud of him. It reminded me not only that my husband's job is being an Air Force guy, but that he really is AirForceGuy himself. His service is who he is.
I have no idea when the man learned all this. We've been married since the Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and although we own many books on aircraft, including a Jane's compendium, I've never seen him sit down and study them.
But he knows. Because "AirForceGuy" is who he is.
As if I hadn't figured that out already.