Two Weeks A Year & Other Misnomers


As a Guard Wife, my initial reaction to "One weekend a month and two weeks a year" was "Wow. I can't imagine being separated from my new husband, but maybe I can find something to do during that time. We'll just work our schedule around it."

After a few years, one realizes that 1) the weekends turn into eight day, advanced party type stints; 2) the two weeks grow into a month; and 3) all bets are off when a unit is activated. One also discovers that the "one weekend" is always THE weekend you have anything planned, the "two weeks" encompass the craziest time in your home schedule, and that deployments can become a norm rather than the exception.

I've also learned that there does come an actual time when my husband has been home too long. That time is now. He leaves for his "two weeks" soon and he's been preparing to put on his game face and disengage for a couple weeks. Unfortunately, he'll miss the girls' first day of school (which they are used to) and the gauntlet of sleep overs, swimming parties and childcare dilemmas that surface during the waning days of summer vacation.

Sometimes I look upon these days with dread, but this year? I'm looking forward to it. We've fallen off the rails schedule-wise because my husband's civilian work schedule is very wacky and we never know what the other is doing. That means last minute runs to the grocery store for dinner ingredients, dashing to appointments/lessons/etc., and me feeling like I've been hit by a train most of the time. I want to use the nearly three weeks time to dust off the calendar, organize our meals, cash in my Groupons for exercise classes, and prepare my daughters for the rush of back-to-school frivolity.

I chuckle every time I see those now defunct slogans in regard to just what being in the Army National Guard requires of one time-wise. "One weekend a month and two weeks a year"? Fantasy Land.

That made me think maybe some of you were having a wry chuckle over an idea like "dwell time" or something similar. What terms have you learned since becoming a military spouse that seemed to mean one thing when you began, but in reality have come to mean something very different?

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