Deployment Rituals

I’m discovering that I have certain deployment rituals, things that give me a sense of comfort in the world that now has a husband sized hole in it. This is the first deployment that he’s been gone that I haven’t been pregnant or with him, so the possibilities of things I can get into around the house are endless. The third deployment, I was gone with him, so I didn’t need to have stay at home rituals to keep me sane, I needed anti stress rituals. But that’s another story.

It usually doesn’t take but a week, sometimes less before I start spraying the pillow with his cologne. Or wearing his clothing. Or moving to the middle of the bed and get used to cats sleeping all over me.

But its the home improvement projects that baffle me. Each time he’s been gone prior to this one, I’ve regrouted my kitchen. I’ve landscaped. I’ve ‘fixed’ things. First weekend he was gone, I bought several cans of paint and a few more trial colors. Managed to paint the guest bathroom a really great deep blue. The kids had fun painting. Made a horrible mess, but I guess that’s half their fun, right? Then today, I cracked open the box o’ hell that’s been filling up my garage for the last week and some change.

Thank heavens I’ve got friends willing to spend an afternoon in the hot Texas sun, helping me piece together a ginormous puzzle. And we only made it about 1/3 of the way through, but it was a great way to spend the afternoon, at least on my part. My kids had a blast (and the heat took it right out of them, there were no bedtime battles this evening) and it was so relaxing working on a project with friends.

I guess at the heart of it, the home improvement projects are my way of exerting a teeny bit of control over my world. I wish he was here with me building that stupid swingset. We to laugh when we do things together, even though I always manage to start projects off wrong, like in the middle of the instruction book instead of at the front (don’t ask). But at the end of the day, its my way of staying busy so I don’t notice that the TV isn’t on, that he isn’t fighting with the cat, or playing Super Mario Brothers with our oldest.

One week down, 51 to go.