I am married to a soldier. According to the Army, I’m just his spouse. Or a dependent.
Before we were married, I was anything but dependent. I was trying my hardest to find my way in this world. by. my. self. I wanted to do things my way; only, I hadn’t yet figured out what my way was. Then we married and I moved to Germany with Austin. I was only a few months pregnant with Cade when David deployed.
When you’re alone in a foreign country for months on end, with a baby in your belly and a toddler attached to your hip, you become dependent… on yourself.
You figure things out. If something goes wrong, you find a way to make it right. Because the only person in the house that can fix it, is you. You have to get up when the boys get up. You have to wash, fold, and put away the laundry, or it will sit there and just be dirty, until all the wearable clothes you own are dirty and then well, you still have to wash, fold, and put it all away . You have to stock the cabinets and cook the meals and change the diapers and take the garbage out. You kiss the boo-boos and tell the boys no. You pay the bills a month ahead of time so its one less thing to worry about next month. If the tire is flat, you change it… in the snow. You do it, because you have to. But also, because you want to. Because you’re the only one in the house that can and knows how. You hold the house together for those long months that add up to over a year.
Then he comes home. Your soldier is finally home. You can rest a little now. There are two able bodies in the house. Two people to change diapers, and give baths, and change tires. Two people who can drive. Or feed little mouths. Or carry laundry downstairs.
And then your soldier goes away for 5 days. 5 whole days and you are sorely surprised at how lonely you are when you return home from taking him to the airport. It’s amazing how fast your life changed. It’s only been four months since that amazing month of homecomings. And you are no longer dependent on yourself… you find yourself dependent on him.
He holds the house together. He picks up the slack when you leave the dirty laundry in the floor for a day, [or days]. He reminds you to run the dishwasher after dinner. He takes the trash out when its overflowing. He makes sure the door is locked at night before the house goes to sleep.
For five days, I will find the person I was when he was gone. I will do the chores, and make meals for one and two halves. And make sure he can find his socks and t-shirts when he gets back.
And he’ll return, and we’ll easily and comfortably slip back into that normal routine.
I will depend on him. And he will depend on me. And our boys will depend on us. (I do believe that’s the sweetest part. The part where our boys get to depend on us.)
And our lives will be normal…
[until the Army decides I need to be dependent on myself again.]