Military Spouse Magazine

SEP 2018

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H to do. Let's be honest, they will be happy that we just show up, but they have been gone for so long that we must go all out and make it special for them. We run ourselves ragged getting everything done so they can come home and just be here, and not have to worry about anything. There is the "Welcome Home" banner that we will string across the garage, and the custom wreath to hang on the door. We call the lawn service company to have them come out a few days before, so it will all be freshly done and the fridge and pantry will be stocked with all his favorite snacks and drinks. We'll plan a "me day" to get our nails and hair done, to go out and buy a new dress, order the cake, clean the house, and plan his favorite dinner for the day he comes home. We take the time to prep our children, too. The cutest patriotic dress we can find, or even coordinated outfits. They will dig out the markers and work on making their own welcome home signs to hold up on that special day. "Get out of my way, I get my daddy back today!" or maybe even "Thank God You're Home Dad, Mom Was Losing It!" Whatever it says they will be happy to color it and be proud to hold it up for daddy to see! Finally, the day will come. The day we've been waiting for since day one. The day when we stand in the crowd of an extremely hot gymnasium, or in the beating sun on the parade field squinting our eyes to see that first glimpse of our soldier. We'll burst into tears the second we see them and strain our throats as we scream for them to see us. After a few formalities in the welcome home ceremony, and the countdown to being released, we'll run like crazy for our soldier. Our kids will weave in and out of the crowd to reach their dad and risk knock- ing him over for that first hug. They'll melt in his strong arms for an embrace they thought was always forever away. Walking up to him, I'll still feel all the butterflies as if it was our first date all over again. With tears streaming down my cheeks, and the biggest smile I can imagine, it finally happens. I'll feel his touch again, taste his kiss, and release the deep breath I never knew I was holding as I lean into his hug. We'll all lock arms around each other and let time stand still as we realize our family is whole again. "He's home," I'll whisper to myself, while watching our children cling to his legs. "We did it," I'll say and finally being able to acknowledge that through all the long days, late nights, hospital visits, teacher conferences, child meltdowns, burnt dinners, broken appliances, and cried tears, that together, we made it through this deployment. Whatever it says they will be happy to color it and be proud to hold it up for daddy to see! Finally, the day will come. The day we've been waiting for since day one. The day when we stand in the crowd of an extremely hot gymnasium, or in the beating sun on the parade field squinting our eyes to see that first glimpse of our soldier. We'll burst into tears the second we see them and strain our throats as we scream for them to see us. After a few formalities in the welcome home ceremony, and the countdown to being released, we'll run like crazy for our soldier. Our kids will weave in and out of the crowd to reach their dad and risk knock- ing him over for that first hug. They'll melt in his strong arms for an embrace they thought was always forever away. Walking up to him, I'll still feel all the butterflies as if it was our first date all over again. With tears streaming down my cheeks, and the biggest smile I can imagine, it finally happens. I'll feel his touch again, taste his kiss, and release the deep breath I never knew I was holding as I lean into his hug. We'll all lock arms around each other and let time stand still as we realize our family is whole again. "He's home," I'll whisper to myself, while watching our children cling to his legs. "We did it," I'll say and finally being able to acknowledge that through all the long days, late nights, hospital visits, teacher conferences, child meltdowns, burnt dinners, broken appliances, and cried tears, that together, we made it through this deployment. H SEPTEMBER 2018 / MILITARYSPOUSE.COM 23

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