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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

31 Days: Day 28 - Homecoming

It has been interesting living in a mostly-military neighborhood. There is usually one friend/neighbor that is deployed or anticipating deployment or going off for training of some sort. It makes for an unusual dynamic as well as some unique experiences. We've had more than a couple "girl power" moments helping to change tires or repair fences when the husbands weren't around - oh how fun that was (ha). And though we've had our share of deployments, I've been thankful that there haven't been any recently, nor are there any on the horizon for my husband.

This weekend I got to experience deployments/homecomings from a slightly different angle. The husband of a friend of mine has been gone for the last seven months and he returned Sunday. It's been a rough one for her, as she found out she was pregnant just a few days after he left and the pregnancy itself hasn't exactly been an easy one. Of course she's been incredibly excited and nervous about the homecoming and shortly before leaving to pick him up she asked if I would tag along and take photos (and the added moral support probably didn't hurt either).

It was a fairly smooth homecoming, as far as those things go. They had the place for the families to gather all prepared and were handing out little flags and things for the kids to color while they waited. The plane itself was only 30 minutes late. And talk about your celebration plans - there was a marching band, some sort of honor guard of bikers holding a line of flags, and they literally rolled out a red carpet on the tarmac. Then there were the families, who I'm sure had spent the day cleaning their houses and planning big dinners, with homemade signs and balloons in hand, all shined and polished and dressed up (oh some of those outfits were absolutely darling. A little girl in a camouflage tutu, a toddler in a mini set of fatigues). All of this for just that one moment of seeing their loved one for the first time - a guy who cares about none of it except for the big hugs and kisses.

I stood back and watched it all - for once not being the one experiencing all of those crazy emotions. Seeing it from the outside while understanding it from the inside. It made me think about things a little - that endless time spent waiting, all those hopes and plans and dreams and preparation leading up to that moment...totally worth it.

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