Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (02/28/19)
TITLE: Fish-Sticks and Frustration
By Corinne Smelker
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Michael, stop running around. Come here now! Leah, I’m not asking again. Enough! And Mitchell, if I have to speak one more time, so help me God…”
“Mom! Mom! Look, Daddy’s here!”
I looked up to see my handsome husband bearing down upon us, arms open wide to embrace us all in a huge, tight bear-hug. Tears glistened in my eyes and I felt the newest almost-addition to our family kick inside me.
“Welcome home!” I cried, tears now flowing freely. “We’ve missed you so much!”
“I’ve missed you more,” Matt said, holding on tightly to six-year old Michael, before swinging three-year old Leah onto his shoulders, and grabbing Mitch, Michael’s identical twin, by the hand. “Let’s go home, eh?”
I should be used to this by now, deployment, I mean. After all, this was Matt’s third, but this was the longest yet, lasting 18 months, with just two short trips home, the second of which resulted in the life inside me. But I never do get used to it, and I think if truth be told, none of us military wives do.
28 April 2018
“Sarah, If Matt tells me one more time how to discipline the kids, I’m going to lose it. Like seriously, what did he think I did for the 18 months he was gone, and the other two deployments when the twins were babies?”
I paused for breath, took a long gulp of coffee before continuing to unload on my best friend.
“Now he comes in here, disrupting MY routine, and expects me to change everything! I can’t wait for him to get his orders, I’m so tired of him trying to change everything!”
“Stacy, I know you’re frustrated. We’ve all been there. We’re used to doing everything because we’ve had to. I get you, I really do.”
“Yeah? Well does Scott tell you how to wash the dishes? Because Matt did! And then he told me I was baking the fish sticks wrong – they’re freaking fish sticks – how can you cook them wrong?”
Stacy put her elbows on her kitchen table as we enjoyed some quiet time before the kids came tumbling in from school. “I feel you. Scott hasn’t done that, but I refuse to make the bed now because I can’t do it ‘right’!”
Before I could one-up her with something else Matt did or said that totally annoyed the heck out of me, we were inundated with kids. And before long I took my tribe of three littles home. Matt was in the living room, watching the news. He jumped up as we entered and took Leah from me.
“I got my orders,” he said. “We stay here, but you already knew that. I will be in the aviation division, mechanic, so that’s good. I start Monday.”
I kissed him in congratulations and then went into the kitchen to start on dinner.
The household noises were a comfort, the quiet squabbling of the twins as they argued over a race track, the noise of the latest Netflix kids’ show, and Matt, sitting quietly on his chair.
Leah came running up to him with an armful of books (that child is definitely mine!) “Daddy, read to me.”
“Okay princess,” Matt placed her on his lap and opened, “Where the Wild Things Are.”
“’The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another...’”
As he read I looked at him through new eyes. I saw the man I had fallen in love with a decade earlier. I saw the man who had nursed MY mother through cancer. I saw the man who had chosen to sacrifice for his country’s sake, and as a result, for us.
I dropped what I was doing, and ran (well fast waddled) over and planted a kiss on the top of his head.
“What’s that for?” he asked me quizzically.
“For the times I take you for granted. And for not appreciating you more when you are home. I miss you so much when you’re gone, and can’t wait for you to get back, I never want to lose that feeling. Whether you’re here or deployed, I want to love you the same. Never mind, I’m not expressing myself very well – but I love you.”
“I love you too.” He smiled tenderly at me before returning his full attention to Leah and the fictional Max.
1 Peter 4:7 (MSG) Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.