Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, My Papi

Today is my husband’s birthday, and I’m not going to be able to spend it with him. I don’t even know that I’ll be able to talk to him at all. The strange part is, I’m okay with that. It’s not that I don’t love him, it’s not that I don’t care, but I know that he is extremely busy right now. He’s taking care of what he needs to, so that he can come home to us safe, and in one piece.

It’s amazing how being married to someone in the military changes your prospective. Four years ago, I would’ve kicked my husband out for missing our anniversary. This year, I celebrated alone. I was traveling, actually. The girls and I were stuck overnight in Atlanta, and didn’t make it home until our anniversary. I knew that my husband was out on a mission, and I didn’t hold out any hope for a phone call. Imagine my delight, and surprise, when I received a text/email from my love two days later telling me how sorry he was that he wasn’t able to call on our special day. It blows my mind how this time apart has made my husband so sentimental.

My husband is, for lack of a better term, an ass. He has been called a jerk at times, also. He celebrates birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries because I make him. I remind him when he needs to call his mother on her birthday. Sorry Cindy, he still doesn’t remember, after being your son for 29 years, when your birthday is. I buy gifts and write his name on the card for him. Or, I hold out the card for him to sign, and then afterward he asks me who the card is for.

But since being apart, he has sent me flowers for Valentine’s day. Jesse let me pick out my birthday gift. He has sent me three gifts from Afghanistan. And he remembered our anniversary. Who is this man? And what has he done with my husband?

Apparently, this deployment has changed him.

This month has been a hard one without Jesse. I went home to Iowa on vacation. We were there for a week, and were part of a huge celebration at the Buddhist Temple. Jesse would’ve loved it. He loves to learn about my family’s culture and religion. Oh, and the food! I smile just thinking about the kid-in-a-candy store grin he gets on his face when he gets to eat asian food.

The anniversary of his graduation from Boot Camp is the day before our wedding anniversary. Half a week later was Father’s Day. Today is his birthday, and the month rounds out with Abby’s second birthday next week. All very special occasions for me. All times when I bribe him into a good mood with food.

I miss my other half. But I’ve learned that even though he misses all these moments back home, he is doing something much needed. If he weren’t off where he is, doing what he does, we may not be able to enjoy these birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. Since being married to my Marine, I’ve learned not to take the little things for granted. Because even when he’s “home,” he isn’t always home for the celebrations. He’s first married to the Marine Corps, and sometimes she gets all his attention.

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