It started out innocently enough - the two younger Air Force kids and I went to a local homeschooling conference. We had to sign up Daughter #2 for next year at our homeschool academy of choice.
We did a bit of "window" shopping, bought some books, and meandered our way over to the Academy table to sign up. I grabbed an application form, started filling it out, and was confronted by this:
Mother: (resides in home/resides separately from child)
Father: (resides in home/resides separately from child)
Whose definition are we using here?
When it comes to school forms, these questions are not just academic nosy-neighbor inquiries. Schools need to know what the child's home situation is so that they can appropriately deal with issues that come up during the year. My phone number is on the emergency call list - but the number for my husband is glaringly blank.
Because he won't BE home. And quite frankly, I'm not sure the school would do anything with an international number, even if I knew the International Country Code Prefix for Afghanistan or Iraq or any of the other lovely and exotic locales my husband ends up hanging around in.
Quite irrationally, I ended up angry at the school over this. How DARE they ask me a question like that? It's just not their business, those [insert rude name-calling here]. Of COURSE my husband "resides" with us! He just isn't going to be "living" with us for a year or so. Well, plus those months he doesn't "live" with us while he's training. Or while he's TDY. Or whatever.
But he damn well does RESIDE with us! So that's a stupid question!
Except that it's not a stupid question. And I wasn't being totally honest with myself or fair to the school, or even being fair to my daughter who will more than likely have an issue of some sort and varying severity arise relating to the fact that her Dad is either (a) in a war zone, (b) coming home for a visit from a war zone in which case there will be no school work done and I won't make any excuses for it, either, or (c) Mom is single parenting because Dad is residing at home, but not living at home and something came up. These issues happen, and the school needs to know what to expect.
But I did not want to be confronted with this issue right now. I also didn't want to phrase it just that way, either. Somehow it seems easier for me to skirt around the fact and just not mention that my husband's primary abode will be not with us. He'll have a different mailing address, a different phone number, and no we're not divorced/maritally separated/or on non-speaking terms. This is still his house.
He just won't live here.
And I wasn't ready for someone to (unsuspectingly) remind me of that little fact right now.