You've just been given the Military Spouse's Holy Grail of Deployment -- a homecoming date! This isn't the just-deployed-and-we-think-we'll-be-home-around-this-random-date-that-always-changes estimation. This is the REAL DEAL flights-are-booked-and-it's-time-to-celebrate DATE! Let's get it poppin', shall we?
Like all other spouses, the next thing you'll do is hop online to one of those day calculators to figure out the exact amount of days you have before you can take a nap and use the bathroom without interruption, and not to mention actually lay your eyes on your very own superhero.
If you're the incredibly crafty spouse and/or mom you are probably putting together some type of epic countdown that has construction paper rings or Hershey's Kisses or other Martha Stewart-esqe project that helps you and the kids get more excited by the day. Some of us have the creative capacity of a seal and skip that part ... I applaud you!
Then, it's time to slowly purge those frozen pizzas and other meals from the freezer; perhaps start incorporating fresh vegetables and get real cooking back into your schedule. If you're like me, at the beginning of this deployment you totally had every intention of losing *redacted* pounds. And now you have to cram losing weight into the last month before homecoming. But don't worry! The last month of deployment moves in slow motion ... you have plenty of time.
And for those of you rolling your eyes wondering WHY we didn't get around to hitting our fitness goals? It's because the day after they left, our house started falling apart one appliance at a time, aka Murphy's Law, aka the Deployment Curse. It's real and it has a mission to singlehandedly destroy military spouses through constant maintenance calls. By the end of Month One your spirit is broken and you are simply satisfied that everyone ate and is still alive. It succeeds Every. Single. Time. So keep your judgey looks to yourself!
Now it's time to finally get around to the spring cleaning that didn't happen this spring.
The closer you get to Day Zero, the pressure is on to find the perfect outfit. I'm not sure what it is about the moment that they see you for the first time after a deployment -- no matter if you've been married for one year or 20 years -- you want it to be magical. You want to see their eyes pop out of their head and their mouth drop to the ground.
You're all like:
And your friends are like:
So naturally, as soon as he sees you, he'll be like:
Remember earlier when I shared how horrible I am at crafts? There's only one exception to that rule, because I love a good homecoming decoration and styling. Balloons, posters, banners, writing on the car windows -- sign me up for all of it.
It never fails that you'll have a friend (or five) that makes this comment once you tell them your guy (or gal!) is on their way home. "Already? It went by so quickly!"
You'll want to be like this:
But instead just call up your inner Rihanna and give them the look. You know the one:
They'll take the hint and hopefully see the error of their ways.
Finally the day has arrived! You've prepared for the reunion of your dreams! And by prepared, I mean ...
You spend all day making sure the house is perfect, the kids are perfect, you are PERFECT. The phone rings as you're getting the car loaded up to pick up your Soldier/Airman/Sailor/Coastie/Marine ... only to find out that the time has changed and you're not exactly sure when they'll be in.
And so goes the waiting game. Sometimes you're only waiting a couple of hours, sometimes it could be days. However, no matter how long you wait ... it's always worth it.