I had a thought recently, and then Sarah had a similar thought. (Thank goodness it's not just me, like I usually fear.) There is an odd point in the moving-being home-deployment-training-whatever cycle where your spouse has been home long enough that it feels normal to have them there. Lovely to have "at home" equal "normal," isn't it? I find, however, that it is a double-edged sword.
When my husband is gone a lot, for whatever reason, I appreciate every moment that we are together. I love car rides, doing dishes, and waking up together. It doesn't really matter what we are doing, because he's HERE! With us! Butterflies and ice cream and unicorns! Fabulous!
However, after a few month of mostly-together, I tend to forget. We're just a regular old family whose Dad happens to wear a uniform to work. Everyone in my family is less patient, petty disagreements are more common, and the thrill isn't quite so thrilling. We're a family, and we love each other, but sometimes we don't remember that being a family is a fabulous gift. We don't make time to play as often, and we don't recognize the joy of simple companionship.
I honestly don't know how civilian families manage all that sameness, and I'm guessing it is hard. Military families have a special opportunity to truly appreciate the times when their family can be together. Even when we have been blessed with a chunk of uneventful months or years, we still know that separation could come at any moment. Words like deployment and unaccompanied tour are regular parts of our vocabulary, a constant reminder that all this domestic tranquility isn't a permanent situation. It is a good thing, to recognize positives instead of overlooking them.
I'm curious if any of you have any tricks for celebrating togetherness, even when it comes in large quantities. I'm wary of any regular commemorations, like a monthly "we're all here" dinner. I'm afraid they would end up having the opposite effect, of highlighting the times that we're not together.
I always love to hear our readers thoughts - y'all are so smart and creative!