15

Greener Grass and All That Jazz

Why is it that even when you are sure of your decisions and that you chose wisely, that the grass STILL looks greener in someone else's yard?

The latest example of this for us? Our decision that my husband not come home for R & R.

It was something we talked about and something that I left open ended for him. If he needed to come home or wanted to come home, it was not like I would not be excited. However, I told my husband before he deployed that he should not feel like he must come home for me. I would be okay. And, so would the kids.

To me, goodbye is entirely more gut wrenching than the waiting.

Add in that we are in the final stages of an international adoption and it was wholly possible that he would come home and I would be in Africa or that he would meet his new daughter and then leave in 15 days. Neither of those options seemed attractive, so we deferred.

Now, we're approximately halfway through this deployment and one of the couples we are closest to is finishing up their R&R. Not that I have heard from these two during this time period, but their Facebook status messages keep everyone updated on their Thanksgiving together and the like.

When I spoke with my husband today and he sounded like he truly misses me (not just the "I miss ya, babe" that I can always count on hearing), it made me wonder if we'd made the right decision. Especially given that our court date overseas has been reset and it's unclear when our adoption will be finalized. I thought how nice it would be to have had him here this week, hanging out with us, celebrating our daughter's 11th birthday and eating turkey.

Then, I remembered.

It's only 15 days and in a few days, my friend will have to say goodbye to her husband. Again.

The grass looks kinda wilted at that point.

I'm curious, though, especially given the horrified reaction of nearly EVERY wife I've spoken to who has asked me what we're doing for R&R if I'm the only one who would rather go 12 months and be together for good (as good as the Army lets us be) than have to say goodbye yet again? If you and your spouse talked about this, I'm also curious what went into your decisions on this matter. I think it might be helpful for other spouses facing this and could help them come to a solid decision. If you have the experience of multiple deployments, some with R&R and some without, what are the pros and cons you can note?

I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts in comments!

About Guard Wife

Melinda, who writes as Guard Wife, hails from a rural farming community in a Midwestern state. She moved to the southwest part of her home state to attend college and remains there some twenty years later. Today, she's a licensed attorney who spends most of her professional time working within the academic support and bar exam passage programs at her alma mater. Her volunteer interests vary from pro bono legal work to Brownie troop leader to Soldiers' Angels. Melinda and her husband have three daughters, the youngest of whom the couple brought home from Ethiopia the same week Melinda's husband returned from a deployment to Iraq.

Melinda also writes about her experiences as the mom of an older internationally adopted child at www.5forHope.com and maintains her individual blog at www.mostcertainlynot.typepad.com.