Friday, September 28, 2007

A city of women

Since we moved here to Schofield Barracks almost a year ago, we have lived in a neighborhood full of women. Now, there are a few men around - my husband, the guy down the street who washes his car each and every live-long day, and a few others.. but around 75% of the families that I know are waiting for dad to come home next month.

This is a topic that I think about a lot, but I'm having a hard time catching those thoughts and organizing them to write down. This is such a muddle. sorry.

I think there is a different feel to a neighborhood without dads. Not bad or anything, but different. And I wonder how it will change the feel of things around here when all the dads start coming home.

My husband has been gone just a month, and already I've started in on some of my single mom patterns - there's less laundry to worry about, less real food to cook, and I get the computer all to myself every night! (and I'm lonely and missing adult conversation and I don't have my dive buddy...)

When Nathan comes home next week I'm going to have to make a few adjustments to my daily plan and remember how to play nice and share. And I'm happy to.

But I wonder how it would be if he had been gone for 15 months. Seems like such a time warp - go off to war when the baby is a few days old.... come home and the baby's walking and saying bye-bye. And I know I'm enough of a control freak that there would need to be some serious adjustments happening to slide back into that happy family mode.

Maybe it's easier for everyone else, but the re-deployment time is tough for me.

The girls I know have weathered this deployment with such grace and strength. I'm sure the re-deployment will be no different (or even better!)

And, after all the welcome home signs get put away and leave is over and the guys head back to regular work, it will be fun to watch our neighborhood change. More 5 o'clock traffic. Less cobwebs on the 2nd car parked in the driveway. More playing catch. More Dads!

PS - why do they call it re-deployment. I don't really like that term. To me it sounds like he was deployed. He returned home for a day or two. Then he had to quickly re-deploy. What would be better? reunion? but not everyone is coming home to a loved one.... homecoming? sounds like high school football..... repatriation? sounds strange.... i don't know...


Tori :) said...

Wait... they call the dad's coming home "Redeployment" or did I read that wrong? Weird.
I was a single mom for a few months before meeting Sei and it was weird to give up a little control and adjust to a man being there. But I managed... somehow. ;)

wendy said...

yep. they call the coming home thing "re-deployment" I think it's weird, too.

Special K ~Toni said...

Is that an Army term maybe? Here at DAFB we don't call it that, we call it Reunion.

Funny you mentioned the cobwebs- hubby truck is covered in them! But it will be sparkling clean when he comes back the end of October!

wendy said...

Toni - woohoo! End of October!

nikko said...

"Re deployment" makes no sense. They are deployed home?!?

That must be weird to have a neighborhood full of single moms. How wonderful that they are all together and (hopefully) can support each other. How does your ward function with no priesthood brethren?

Elizabeth-W said...

The divorce rate secondary to long deployment is high. I have seen spouses in therapy wanting to discuss how to tell their returning partner that they're ready to end the relationship. It's miserable.
The rate of people coming back with major mental health issues is incredibly high. Your point about life getting back to 'normal' is accurate, for the family, but for the person returning, it isn't normal anymore, and may never be quite 'normal' again. The guy washing his car--that may feel sooo good, so calming, so domestic to him. And, he may have been displaced a bit in the house and not have enough to do.
Hoping for all the best for the families in your neighborhood!

No Cool Story said...

"re-deployment"? That's diffent. I wouldn't know have they were talking about.
DH is going out of town next week for just 4 days. I totally get comfy into my "no husband" pattern. I can't imagine what it'd be like for weeks and months at a time.

wendy said...

nikko - after the first deployment to Iraq a few years ago, the stake has divided up the base among 3 wards so the burden is spread. Our last ward was more heavily hit by deployments.

elizabeth - we read that all the time. It is probably. But in my limited experience, military marriages are strangely strong. ps - the car washing dude is a non-military spouse. His wife recently returned from deployment. She is actuall a civillian contractor. Cool family.

NCS - have fun watching chick-flicks next week!

Butterfly Wife said...

Reployment. The way they use the term "deploy" to mean move. So redeploy means to move again, essentially. It is not an intuitive term. But it is used allllllllllll the time in the media, by congressmen and senators , and pundits alike.

ann m. said...

That does seem like it'd be the wrong word. I like reunion so much better. I hate how weird those first couple of days can be when DH comes home--I feel like he's underfoot, I want to give him back all his chores but I want them done when I'd do them, he's cranky and exhausted but feels bad if he sleeps all usually takes us about how long they give him for leave before we get back into some kind of rhythm.

We've never lived on base as a married couple, so I can't imagine what it must look like living in a neighborhood of no dads. I'll bet there will be a lot of woman running around like chickens without heads right before the guys come home!

wendy said...

Ann - it's not so much the first few days or weeks - those are magical! But as the honeymoon fades into real life, I start to get really irritable. I hate that about me.