Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Notes and observations from the other side.

My sympathy meter is way off. I don't think that one military family life is any harder than another, which is of course is the political correct thing to say but we all know it isn't true. I think my military life was pretty average. Had Aaron not been hurt and things had kept rolling as they should have, I am sure it would have continued you that way. Once, I complained about our pre-deployment leave being bumped up to an inconvenient time. I got some good comments from Navy and Marine wives who didn't even know what it was. I guess I get really frustrated when I find someone mad about something completely preventable. Telling the world you don't think you can do a deployment with a baby is a little bonkers. Writing that deployments are harder because of kids isn't just also bonkers, but short-sighted. But bitching once in a while about how the military can absolute mess up your life and all your plans is normal.

One thing people say to me often that they don't know is ugly is how awesome it is I don't have to drag a kid through this experience. What would people say if I did? And the fact that we might have to go through more hell to even try to have a kid only makes it sting worse. I mean, would I just drop the kid off somewhere if I had one with me? No, I'd freaking manage, wouldn't I? There is dedicated childcare here too so thank God the families who do have munchkins don't have to worry about that. Now, don't get me started on the families... one in particular... who drag their ill-behaved youngsters going nuts around the hospital, yelling the whole time. Kids were banned from the MATC (PT rehab facility for the wounded) because of families like this. Odd thing is, I feel that babies are fine. They don't do much and stay contained. When kids start walking, it's time to think about where they are taken.

My sister-in-law is pretty much a single mom all the time. Aaron's brother is a cop on night shift and in the National Guard as a platoon sergeant. They are gearing up for deployment right now too, so he is sporadically gone for weeks at a time. Within the past year, he has also worked for the fire department and done off-duty cop jobs. My SIL takes care of two kids too young for school and works full-time as well. I guess when I see someone take on that life with very little complaint, I get a little judgmental.

What I do here is not as hard as it is frustrating. The services in the building we live in are inconsistent to the point of insanity. The parking lot still doesn't have lights. The sidewalk was repaved to take care of a "lip" issue that was tripping people, but now it's steeper. The handicap curve coming off the steep sidewalk doesn't have hand rails the whole way. There still isn't a place for all the trash for each floor, but no one sure as hell isn't hiking it out to the completely out-of-the-way bin. The new smoking area can't accommodate wheelchairs. It's enough stupid crap to make you crazy. I guess everything else can be such a struggle that when something "little" goes wrong, it is just that much more frustrating. How hard is it, really? How hard can it be to have a safe, reasonable place for these guys to live? Sigh.

Tomorrow is Aaron's birthday but we are celebrating tonight with friends. His mom will be in tomorrow so we will most likely go out with her, too. I am so excited for this birthday. He almost didn't make it to 33, so this is really special!


  1. You mind if I punch the person who told you that you at least don't have kids during this time? I mean, really? I guess working in an ICU I've learned the worse thing for someone to hear is the "At least............" because that never helps. It just creates more pain a lot of the time.

  2. I've been guilty of saying things without really thinking of how they would hurt the person. So I apologize for that. On the flip side of having kids, people are still just as rude with their comments when you have kids as they are when you don't. A lot of people look at me like I'm insane and say, "I have no idea how you can handle that with kids! I could never let my husband leave me like that."

    I'm sorry, I don't remember Uncle Sam giving me a choice!!!

  3. Most people who say something are good intentioned and mean well, the fact they they may never have encountered a personal situation that is as traumatic and life altering as having their legs blown off gives them no point of reference as to what to say and not say. They don't know that an injury of this sort could affect future fertility, and why should they? Every woman or man is not cut out to be a military spouse. What is easy for one person can be impossible for another. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and different family dynamics that they bring to the "deployment table".