Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where oh where are you tonight?

Oh my goodness. I'm such a hateful awful person. Inviting people to read my blog and then vanishing into thin air. But life has say the least. My husband will be home in about a week, and I've been trying to not only prepare our house, but also my head, for his return.

When my husband and I moved into this house, or I suppose technically you would call it a townhouse, I was ooooh so nauseated. Suffering from morning sickness the likes of which I had only heard horror stories about, I was miserable. And the last thing I felt like doing was standing up all day, unpacking boxes and decorating. I was, however, doing it all in my head. When the nausea finally subsided the last week in June, and with my mother's impending visit over 4th of July weekend as motivation, I was catapulted into full decorating mode. I had already decided where I wanted all the furniture to go, and for the most part my husband had already taken care of all of that. I had also figured out in my head where I wanted all of the artwork that I have collected over the last 15 years to hang. Once that was done I dragged my husband out for some of the last minute finishing touches, like curtains, the one thing that I had not stripped out of my house in Memphis to bring with me to Kansas.

Now keep in mind, my husband has been in the army for a little over six years. When his belongings were shipped to our house, they consisted of plastic foot lockers full of clothes, a microwave, some pots and pans, and a futon. I, on the other hand, have lived on my own since 1996 and had bought a house in 2004 that was completely decorated by the second week I was there. So our townhouse is, for the most part, my house in Memphis re-situated into a two-story townhouse. There were still a few things I wanted to do to complete our home, but before I knew it it was time for him to leave, and the day after I left as well. And for eight months our house was empty, yet full of all the things I'd come to love and identify as home for over a decade.

So since I've been home here in lovely Kansas, I've been trying to finish those last things I'd wanted to do before we left. I got faux-leather upholstered ottomans to use as storage in the living room (cause I'm not splurging for real leather on an army salary or until we get our own house), and I got three short black bookshelves to put in the dining room for all the books we still have in boxes in the basement. And it just so happened that in between the three bookcases was just enough space for two hammered copper vases and some funky black bamboo. And finally, something I've been unable to do in the 15 months I've been married, I had prints made of some of the digital pictures I've been taking since my wedding day, along with the requisite boatload of pictures of my adorable son.

So now that the house is complete, I think I also mentioned trying to get my head ready for my husband's return as well. During the last nine months, I have lived in three states, had a baby, miraculously survived a devastating car accident, been ostracized by some members of my own family, and done my best to raise an infant on my own. It's been stressful. That's an understatement really. But honestly I can't think of a word to describe exactly what it's been.

As I mentioned, my husband will be returning in about a week. My husband that I barely knew when I married him. My husband who I barely had a chance to get to know before he was gone. And when he gets home, not only do I have to deal with the stress of re-acclimating myself to being married to this man that I haven't seen for nine months, save for the two weeks at Christmas that he came home to meet his two-week old son, I also have to help my son bond with him. Because as nice as it would be for him to just look at his father and somehow know that this stranger is his dad and he has nothing to fear, in actuality he will look at my husband with the same mistrust and suspicion that he looks at any unknown person. The way he looks at every person except me.

I'm stressed. Really stressed. I'd like to think that this will be a seamless transition that will be positive for everyone involved. But I know that, realistically, this will probably be a very bumpy road. And I know that I'm not the only one that it will be difficult for. I know that my husband will be disappointed and frustrated that his son does not know him and doesn't want to play or smile or snuggle with him. I know that my son will be confused because suddenly there will be someone else in the picture besides just him and his mother. And as for me, well, I'm just exhausted. I have all the respect in the world for single mothers, because for the last 6 months, I've been one. And it's hard. Physically, mentally, in every respect it's just damn hard. Everything is your responsibility. Cooking, cleaning, paying bills, feeding the baby, changing the baby, engaging the baby, rocking the baby, and staying awake when all you want to do is crawl onto the floor and sleep and hope that the baby doesn't crawl off and eat a dustbunny.

And when you're this tired...your own needs are usually the first to suffer. I haven't shaved my legs in nearly a month. I am officially a fur bearing mammal. But when you have literally minutes to get in and out of the shower and your husband is gone, whether or not you have smooth legs suddenly becomes very looooow on your list of priorities. I'm lucky if I get one hot meal a day. The bulk of my diet consists of goldfish crackers and cokes. And they're all sacrifices that I willingly make to assure the health, safety and happiness of my child. But I must admit, I fantasize about my husband getting home. I dream of sleeping in, taking showers that are longer than three minutes, and eating three squares a day. Which, I suspect, is not what my husband is currently fantasizing about. Which leads me to my last and final predicament.

When I finally go to bed at night, once my son is asleep, the bottles are ready for the next day, the dishes are rinsed and in the dishwasher, all the garbage is thrown away, and I have carved a path in the baby toys to get to the stairs, it's like one of those scenes in a movie when some poor drunk bastard falls headfirst into his bed and passes out, waking the next morning with "dickhead" written on his forehead in permanent marker and laying in a pool of drool. I don't exactly But it's hard to feel sexy when you hear crickets chirping if you rub your legs together and you barely get out of your clothes before crawling under the covers. But nevertheless, my husband will be home in a week, and like myself, has not had sex in a considerable amount of time. So what do I do? Do I say "go ahead and do whatever honey...if I fall asleep don't take it personally"? Or do I tell my husband, honestly and frankly, that while I completely understand his desire to get back in the saddle so to speak, I need a little time to adjust? To not being alone, to not being solely responsible for the house and everything that goes along with it, and to having enough time away from my son to be able to take a 15 minute shower, condition my hair, and God help me...shave my legs? I think I choose option B. And when I do finally feel sexy again, I have a 36 pack of condoms, just in case nature tries to play the same trick she did the day I got married.


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