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We Know Why You’re Awake (And Checking Email)

Merry Christmas, You. Yes, we caught you, Military Spouse. We know you are checking your email on Christmas Day. We know you have slipped off to scan your Facebook. We know you have evaded your beloved relatives because you have to “check on something.”

How did we get to be such awesome mind readers? Because we are doing it too.

Oh, there are plenty of experts out there wringing their hands about how we are more connected to our iPhones and our laptops than we are to the real people sitting next to us in the room.

Which is probably true. But those experts don’t realize that the iPhone doesn’t have four children screaming at the top of their lungs with avarice bleeding from their eyes.

The internet doesn’t sit down next to us while eating our mother-in-law’s amazingly perfect cheesecake to let us know that people who are apple-shaped (like you, dear!) are more likely to have a heart attack and die within the next calendar year.

Facebook does not require that our children converse about nothing but the weather and everyone’s health for three hours straight or eat beet salad (so festive, Honey!)

Most of all, those experts don’t seem to know understand military spouses at all. They don’t seem to know that so many of us have our hearts beating 6000 miles away from our bodies. They don’t seem to know that half our attention is eaten up by waiting for The Call from overseas. They don’t get that some of the people in the world who are—for all intents and purposes—our real family members, are stationed all the way across the country.

Those experts don’t get it. And neither do most of the people celebrating the holiday with us. Is it any wonder that our phones are out underneath the kitchen table? Is it any wonder we are checking your messages before getting to those dishes?

Around here, we SpouseBuzzers understand that you looking for a little respite. You are seeking a little peace. You just want someone to get what it is like to be you. We do. We totally do.

So take a deep breath and get back there in the game, Military Spouse. Have a glass of wine or a piece of that cheesecake. Sit next to your grandma on the couch and lean on her until she puts her little arm around you. Twist your wedding ring on your finger and think of someone in uniform—especially if your lovey is sitting next to you right now.

This mix of high and low and too fast and too slow and commercial and holy is exactly what Christmas is supposed to be. It wouldn’t be the same without you, Military Spouse. And neither would we.

About Jacey Eckhart

Jacey Eckhart is the Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom.