Tag Archives: home

Interuptions

18 Mar

From where I’m sitting I can see a tipped toy basket, hemorrhaging plastic replicas of machines and weapons.

I can see the dishwasher half-open, with the top rack pulled out and half empty.  The counter is piled first with dirty dishes, then with clean, and next with more toys.

Nearer to me is the cabinet by my desk, standing open and on the floor are pieces of a day-old tortilla now brittle and crumbling.

Chunks of cheese are cupped in an upturned Darth Vader helmet.

This is just what I can see from my desk, but around the corner is more, and more up the stairs, in the bathroom, down the hall, in the guest room, and everywhere else.

I assure you each night when I retire, every room is tidy.  The kitchen is clean and often the floors are swept.  All it takes is one solid bout of imaginary play from my four-year-old with the help of his younger brother who’s recently begun walking.  All it takes is one hour in which I attempt to tackle some significant task, like laundry or balancing our budget, for the two of them to entertain themselves into a frenzy of homemaking’s undoing.  Sometimes I think, “a play room would be great!  One room to contain the chaos.” But that’s fantasy parenting at its finest!

My children want to play near me, always near me.  They have a bedroom, and more toys in our guest-room, but they carry everything to wherever I am, and grace me with their enthusiastic pretend-play.  Today alone my son has discussed being the King Kong of ninjas, told me he doesn’t belong here because he belongs to the future, and explained how he works for a restaurant called “Charlie’s Pizza” that is all out of pistachios.  The reason my kitchen is half dirty and half clean is because of all this participation involved.

I know it only takes five minutes to empty the dishwasher!

But I haven’t enjoyed an uninterrupted five minutes unless my children are soundly sleeping. Often the HD will come home to a scatter of projects throughout the house: laundry in different stages of completion, a half-vacuumed room, a partially-prepped meal, and so on.  Someday they won’t be near me, I know, and I’ll have more complete thoughts and conversations with myself than will be healthy.  I know one day I’ll have to urge them to sit in the same room with me, at the same table with me, ride in the same car with me.  Right now the size-6 jeans are home to the largest lap my sons know, one big enough for the two of them.

Welp! This entry will be interrupted, too: I have to sprint my garbage can to the curb for pick up.

 

 

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Taking Time to Make the Time

28 Oct

We have resigned the Army.  We broke away and came (what feels in some ways like) full-circle.  In some ways it feels like completely uncharted territory — full-circle isn’t supposed to feel so unknown, is it?

When HD returned from Afghanistan I was overwhelmed with how similar the Army is to being in an abusive relationship, and like a bad boyfriend the Army made itself tough to leave.  My HD and I are practical planners, so as we searched the world for a new home and work, the Army kept whispering in our ear he’d make things so much easier if we’d just stay.  We wouldn’t have to try to figure out so many answers; the answers would all be given to us.  We wouldn’t have to figure out anything! Just relax and let him take care of it. ::insert creepy shoulder massage from behind so only an onlooker can see the wicked grin on his face::

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Aside

It’s already Tomorrow

30 Nov

It’s almost 6:00 in the morning, tomorrow, in Afghanistan right now. My HD is waking up to Thanksgiving now, in a place that is cold and monochrome. It’s a regular work day for him, too, and not a holiday. Not a day off. He is treating soldiers in a clinic the size of a walk-in closet. He’s lonely and has no one to hug. The friendly smiles of his battle-buddies shared over a cigar tomorrow night will be warmest dose of familial love he receives, same as any day. We’ll talk on the phone, of course, like we do every day, and I’ll remind him I miss him and that I am proud of him. He’ll tell me we’re one day closer and that he loves me. Then I’ll share a story of Young G’s glory and we’ll sign off.

It’s just another day for him.

I’ve spent all day cleaning my mother’s little beach cottage, and cooking in her newly-remodeled professional kitchen. We’ve made cornbread for stuffing, a cranberry mold, field peas with snaps, pie crusts, and a red-velvet cake.

I have so much to be thankful for! But for some reason all I can think about is my husband. As I sit at the stool in the kitchen, chopping pecans, my brain replays memories of him slipping his arm around my shoulders and kissing me on the cheek. “Family” is never supposed to be defined without including him, and yet here we are, separated.

My son doesn’t know what the word “home” means and he’ll be two in four weeks.

My mother used to tell me, “home is where your stuff is,” but that means a storage unit in Hawaii for me, which is neither where I nor my husband are today (or tomorrow, as the case may be).

“Home” is where We are, and so here I am, homeless, separated, and ungrateful because there is no “we” anywhere right now. Just me. and him. and an entire day long of this planet between us.

I don’t know what this war is about. I don’t know why Afghanistan matters. I certainly don’t know why our troops have to occupy the country with entire miniature cities of camps that they staff for an entire year at a time! But those troops have teeth, and they need good health to do their jobs, and my husband is prepared to aid them. For that I am extremely proud of him.

For their sakes I have sacrificed my house and home, too.