Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Early Morning Thoughts

Safety first!
The boys and I are in the midst of our first long-ish separation from Steve since he returned from deployment last September. In the grand scheme of things, he won't be away for that long, but still, it is a first for us since returning to normal. So far, the boys are doing just fine. They are missing Daddy a lot, but luckily springtime means lots of activities with school and sports, so we don't have a lot of down time on our hands.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning to the sound of Riley "tap dancing" in the laundry room. He usually saves this for 5:15 a.m., but I am guessing he drank some extra water before bedtime last night. Either way, once I am woken up, I'm up. I know I will be feeling this around 2:00 p.m. today, and I will really want a nap that I cannot take.

As I was laying in bed, waiting for Riley to let me know that he was ready to come back in, I was thinking about the little quirks I developed while Steve was deployed, and how quickly they come back when he is away from home. I don't get frightened at night per se - - I'm not afraid to be home alone and I don't really worry about things like that. However, I just don't feel right when he isn't here, and have a hard time winding down for the evening. When Steve is home, I am usually in bed by 9:00 and asleep soon after. I think when he was in Iraq, I avoided getting into bed at night because that is when I would lay in the dark and think about awful things, miss him terribly, and then proceed to have a not-so-restful night's sleep. So I unknowingly developed a night- time routine that involved staying up way too late, to the point where I was so tired that I would fall asleep the minute I got into the prone position, thus eliminating the 'laying in bed and thinking awful thoughts' portion of my evening. It worked for me, except for the part where I was always operating on not enough sleep.

Steve and I have been married for 10 1/2 years, and I've spent roughly 3 1/2 of those years by myself, 3/4 of that time, with children. One would think that it would get easier with time, but I find that separation gets more difficult. When I say this, I am not talking about handling things on my own, without a spouse. I can do that part just fine. I am talking about the mental aspect of it. Nobody can help out with that.


Emily said...

No one can help, but it probably helps to know that you are not alone! I *always* stay up too late when Neil is away and then try to get up too early to do things. When we are apart overnight, Neil will call me at midnight and ask why I am not in bed yet...why I haven't called to say goodnight...and he can't wait up any longer, so he's going to bed "without me" - even though we are not in the same house! The dependence is both wonderful and limiting at the same time, no? Ah, the complexities of life, relationships, and marriage! These are the things for which we are never prepared.

Nicky said...

I agree that things don't necessarily get easier with time, with regards to how we mentally process something - whatever it is! And it's funny how you mentioned having difficulty sleeping/getting into your normal routine when Steve's not around - we're creatures of habit, and I know for me, any deviation from normal is a huge change! I like most of the time on my own here in MA, but Mark & I rent a townhouse in upstate NY where he is based. Whenever I'm up there & he is away, I too have a hard time sleeping! And like you, I'm obviously not concerned about being on my own. It just feels weird to be there and have half of the home missing!

Joy said...

Well said, Heather.

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