One of the rules of military life is that you never wish a deployment on anybody. You never wish that someone else’s husband would miss the holidays or Christmas morning. You never wish someone else’s wife missed seeing her kid learn to swim.
No matter how much some civilian sighs and actually wishes OUT LOUD that her husband or wife or partner would deploy when yours has been gone for months, you never, ever, wish that on them, too.
Nice people just don’t do that.
But this time, I am doing it. This time I’m wishing that some people’s spouses really would deploy. I’m not wishing combat on anyone. Combat has consequences a little wishing does not fix.
I’m simply wishing deployment on some people sort of like the way Jim Carrey wished that everyone could get rich and famous and get everything they ever dreamed of ...
So they could see that’s not the answer.
Now that my husband is home from deployment and we are through the crazy weeks of reintegration, I am wishing everyone could have this big long separation in their marriage, too.
Because then maybe they would appreciate what a marvelous thing it is to actually have someone living in your house who gives a damn about you. So ...
Why I wish your spouse would deploy:
I wish your husband would deploy so that you would get used to going everywhere alone. I wish he would come home so that you would find a bit of wonder in having him take your hand and walk with you.
I wish your wife would deploy so that you could drive any way you want wherever you want to go. Then I wish she would come home so that you could have the luxury of sitting in the passenger seat and have someone drive you while you checked your email or picked up the pacifier in the back seat or even fell sound asleep.
I wish your wife would deploy so that you could wake up on Saturday morning worrying about how you are going to get three kids to three different sporting events at three separate ends of the county. I wish she would come home so that you could have the luxury of splitting up those duties. I wish she would come home so you could get that frisson of pleasure when you see her turn up at the third event to keep you company in the bleachers.
I wish your husband would deploy so that for once you would know how long and empty a Sunday could be. Then I wish he would come home so that when you woke up Sunday morning you could put your head on his chest and go back to sleep, happy to have that whole day stretch before you.
I wish your husband would deploy so that when something went wrong at your house you could curse the deployment. You could tell yourself that if you husband was NOT deployed then you would not be having that stupid, stupid problem. Then I wish your husband would come home so that you could see that problems happen all the time anyway -- no matter who is home to deal with them.
I wish your wife could deploy so that you had to fight every battle alone. Every phone call from the school. Every erroneous charge on the cell phone bill. Every blahblahblah from your sister-in-law. Then I wish she would come home so that you could bask in having someone fight your battles for you and with you. The two of you against the world.
I wish your husband would deploy so that you could suddenly notice how much he actually does around the house and with the kids that you don’t see. Then I wish he would come home so that it all could be invisible again.
I wish your husband would deploy so that you could tell yourself that food is not love and eat popcorn for dinner every day. Then I wish your husband would come home and you would sit down together over a homemade lasagna and a crispy green salad and glass of red wine so that you would know food really is love.
I wish your wife or your husband would deploy so that you could know what it is like to long for a person, hunger for their face, dream over what you will do together. Then I wish they would come home so that the dream of them would disappear and the reality of them would reappear.
Because the reality of a partner who loves you and loves your kids and wants to be home (even if he or she is struggling with the reintegration process) is really a miraculous thing. A wonder. A joy. A moment in which you are truly grateful for what you had all along.