Today is the day that Tim was going to come up to Maine for a week's respite. Was going to come up. We will be on our own for 11 weeks, which is the longest we have been apart since he was deployed 7 years ago.
Many military families are separated for long periods of time, of course not voluntarily, but with the great distance between Virginia and Maine neither of us can jump in the car and visit for the weekend. I have friends who can pop their 5-6 kids in the car and travel hundreds of miles without another adult, but I'm not that brave or lucky. I know perfectly well that my tire would blow out on a steep hill in Connecticut, I would accidentally get off the New Jersey Turnpike and end up in Manhattan, would have some sort of panic attack on the Delaware Memorial Bridge. I couldn't even go to downtown Belfast yesterday without managing to get stung by a bumblebee in my own car and almost hit an SUV. So, driving down to Virginia (and back) for a visit is out of the question.
I'm disappointed that Tim can't see the progress on the house, hear the children express thanks for sending them to summer camp, listen to him reading them stories, and express amazement at my lovely garden (and help me eat some of this produce). The builder is disappointed that Tim isn't here to see the furnace room with the neatly labeled copper pipes, the postman will be disappointed that Tim isn't here to talk to him about his son's possible military options, and the children are disappointed not to be able to curl up on their daddy's lap. But he will be up in a few more weeks and then we will go to the lobster pound one more time, walk around the fields and woods, pat the tractor, and close up the place in readiness for another winter in suburbia land.
Our summers up in Maine are the highlight of our year, full of sunshine and fun, but once we get back to Virginia we are all together again, which is the way a family should be. One day in the not-too-distant future hopefully we will all be able to live year-round in Maine and the summers apart will become a distant memory.