We military spouses have a distinct advantage when it comes to the excitement department: homecoming.
There is no word that stirs such excitement, anticipation, and impatience like knowing your spouse is coming home from a long deployment. My spouse recently came home after a 1 year deployment cycle, and as each one comes and goes, the excitement of their return never wanes. Being our first deployment with children, it definitely ratcheted the excitement level up a few notches. There is nothing like watching the pure glee on the face of your child as they wrap their little arms around their daddy for the first time after far too long.
My neighbor and I were sitting at my kitchen table chatting over coffee about homecoming emotion and we both ended up glassy-eyed and thick-throated. We daydream about how the kids will react, what we will all wear, and all the preparation that goes into welcoming home the missing piece of ourselves. As we talked, we relayed past homecoming experiences, kid reactions, homecomings we watched on YouTube and other friends’ experiences.
Like my friend at our last duty station that didn’t tell her children that daddy was coming home, but wrapped him in a refrigerator box with a bow. They opened their “surprise” the next morning. Or the parents that surprise their kids by picking them up at school, at their baseball games, or anywhere unexpected.
It’s written all over the kids’ faces through their tears. Their reactions strike right to the heart of relief, anticipation, and excitement.
And no matter how many times our families go through this process, a military homecoming never fails in the excitement department.