I’ve had so many people ask me how the transition of Gregg being home has gone. I also get a lot of emails worrying because I’ve been skipping days that would normally have a blog post go up. This past weekend, while Gregg had drill in Alabama, the kids and I visited my parents in West Virginia. At church Sunday, their pastor asked me how married life was treating me – as if we were newlyweds. It made me laugh. It also made me want to share this.
Soldiers returning home from long deployments get counseled about how hard the transition will be, about how children will likely not adjust very easily, about conflicts with spouses, how the returning soldier will feel left out of the normal household routine. We’ve done this before, and Gregg has attended the mandatory counseling before – in 2003 when he returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. At that time, he’d only been gone for 9 months. This time, he’d been gone, between his time in Ft. Gordon, GA, and Afghanistan, for over 3 years. Since he was gone as a civilian this time, there was no mandatory counseling or packets of information or business cards with hotline help.
Once we learned that Gregg would be coming home for good, we started praying about it. We prayed that the transition would go easy, that the children would handle it well, that Gregg would be integrated into the family routines easily and smoothly.
I have to say that God heard our appeals and completely answered our prayers about it.
Once Gregg was home, it felt like he’d never been gone. Johnathan, just a few months old when Gregg went to Ft. Gordon, and not even a year old when Gregg went to Afghanistan, never faltered having him home. Kaylee, a 14-year-old step-daughter – hasn’t had a single issue. Scott, who has longed for the day his dad would return, is happy and counts down the hours until Gregg comes home from work.
There have been only two issues: one was the first week Gregg was at work. The boys qualified “work” as “back in Afghanistan” and had panic attacks for about three mornings. By Thursday or Friday that week, they were into the normal routine and didn’t stress that when Gregg walked out the door he wouldn’t be coming back again. Then, this past weekend, Scott had a moment and wanted me to “go to the airport and pick daddy up,” because we went separate ways for the weekend and Scott thought he was gone again.
Gregg and I both thrive on schedules, and we’ve done very well with incorporating his work day into our schedule. We meet together on Sunday afternoons, with Kaylee, and discuss the coming week, appointments, needs, menu wants, shopping lists, etc., and make sure we’re all on the same page for the week.
I know you must be thinking that there’s no way this was as smooth as it has. All I can say is that it has been as smooth as I’ve said, and the only way that I can credit that is to say that God worked it for us. It shouldn’t have been smooth. Kaylee should be tossing attitude around like only a 14-year-old-girl can. The boys should be discipline problems. I should be butting heads over authority and discipline. Gregg should feel shut out or out of place. But none of that is as it “should” be. Everything just slipped into the rhythm as if this has been our normal life all along.
The biggest problem I’ve personally had has been the lack of computer time. My friend Ann Marie, who blogs at Household6Diva and whose husband is on deployment, said when he left that her readers would find she was more absent when he was gone. I find the opposite to be true. When Gregg is home, I’ll go days without even turning on my computer. Not great when you have a blog with a reader base that is used to daily posts.
Right after Gregg got home, we had a stomach bug hit our house, then it hit my sitter’s house. Right after that, she had surgery. Consequently, she’s only worked a couple of times in the last 6 weeks. Things will return to normal with her next week, and my scheduled computer time will actually exist beyond a theory, and I can get the blog back up to a regular posting routine.
So, to those of you who worry due to my abnormally sporadic posting, and who wonder how things are going now that Gregg is home: life is as amazing and wonderful as I imagined it could be. God has truly blessed us by smoothing the waters of this transition, and I am SO thankful to Him for it.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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