Yesterday I dropped my husband off at the Army Recruiting Station and watched him get into a car of waiting recruits. Then I drove away.
I will most likely not see him again until Christmastime. He has 10 weeks of boot camp followed immediately by 34 weeks of officer candidate school.
Now, my husband and I may act like we’re 12 sometimes, but we’re hardly spring chickens, if you know what I mean. I, myself, am a robust 36-year-old (pre-pre-pre-cougar, I prefer <g>), and my hero husband just turned a foxy 38.
So, who knew that at age 38, my husband would be entering boot camp? Who knew that at age 36, I would become an Army wife and have a teeny tiny person attached to my hip…literally?
I know what you’re thinking. This is a scenario for much younger people.
I know. I’ve got friends my age who are two years from retiring from the military and their kids drive. And boy, do they feel sorry for us starting at Square One Designed for Younger People (TM).
That’s okay. I appreciate all the concern. I do. But all I can think is, THANK GOD I’M 36!
Maybe I was more flexible and had more energy when I was younger. But I was so…unformed in so many ways in my 20s, that I can’t imagine how I might have handled this situation then. But now…I don’t know. I feel good. And I feel bad for feeling good, like I should be feeling worse than I am.
I’ve gotten nice calls from relatives offering favors, expressing concern, letting me know they understand how scared I must be. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call.* I’m expecting the casseroles to arrive any minute.**
Don’t get me wrong. There were a few tears. I may be 36, but I haven’t yet petrified into stone. I’m going to miss my Fat Cat. We’ve been together for about 12 years now. I think the longest we’ve ever spent apart was maybe 4 days. And it’s hard for me to think about him missing out on a whole year of Puppy’s babyhood and her missing out on a whole year of Dada. She’ll be 2 the next time he sees her.
So, yeah, I am a little sad. I’m going to miss him. But we’ve been prepared for months for this. It’s a great opportunity for our family. And the way I see it, it’s a great opportunity for our marriage. Sometimes it helps in relationships, I think, when there’s enough space that we can get the hell out of each other’s way, if that makes any sense.
And the next time we see each other, we’ll have new stories to share with each other. We’ll have each other’s successes to share and celebrate. And we’ll be starting off on new adventures in new places. It’ll be good times.
So after I drove away from the Army Recruiting Station, I took my little girl for some shopping at Target. Then I went home and discovered my dogs running amok in the front yard. Fat Cat had been gone for exactly one hour, and already I could smell a coup brewing amongst the natives.
Anyway, it’s good to know that I can shout-herd two idiot dogs into the backyard and hammer shut dog escape routes with a toddler underfoot.
See? That’s me, age 36, putting on my Big Girl Panties, handling my business.
I’m an Army of One.***
* Excellent! There’s a bunch of trim all around the house that Fat Cat wasn’t able to finish painting. I’ve got a ladder that will reach the peak of that steep roof no problem if you stand on your tippy toes. Thanks so much!
** I’m so okay with that.
*** “One is the loneliest number….” just kidding. But still, I can’t wait until Fat Cat gets home. I miss him already.