Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today I Took a Shower While My Children Cried. A Love Letter.

Dear Jon,

We've been married for over five years, so naturally we are totally over all that romantic crap like love letters. But what the heck. I figure we can bring it back, since you're deployed and all. And because you have nice legs. So here goes. A love letter. For you.

Nate has been throwing LOTS of tantrums lately. I've called my parents yelling and/or crying more times than I want to admit to someone whose job it is to fly a 45 million-dollar helicopter through the night. Yesterday, my mom assured me, "No, Bek, he's not a psychopath... he's TWO" for a good twenty minutes while Nathan sat pantless on the toilet, screaming his face off. I wish I could give you some background as to why that tantrum happened... and why it started on the TOILET of all places, but I'm as mystified as you are, Dear. He asked me to take him to the bathroom and for help with his pants and as soon as I put him on the toilet, he started wailing like a Chicken Fil-A cow at McDonalds. Sunday I stood, shaking and ready to sell my ovaries to the highest bidder, in the parking lot at church while your son arched his back and screamed like a ... psychopath... trying to ignore the appalled glances and sympathetic smiles from passers by. It took me 15 minutes and more patience than I have to even get him buckled into his car seat. Not to mention the hauling through the parking lot to the car with him under one arm and Evelyn sleeping happily in a sling while Nate bansheed it up. Or the drive home. Or the continuance of the tantrum once we got there. Or the daily mini tantrums we have. Every night I put him to bed and pray with him  for obedience and self-control.

I also pray for him sometimes.

I keep having moments in training our strong-willed son that make me want to call all of my friends who haven't had kids yet and congratulate them on their excellent life decisions.

The truth is, though, I like our kids enough to put up with wolverine tantrums. And that's a lot of love. When there's no screaming, I'm downright in love with the little sinners. So when you get home and your family is alive and healthy, no members of which having been sold into slavery, I do believe you will understand. Not because a more patient, loving person couldn't have done this job of mine better and with grace (and without complaint on a public forum), but because it's me. You already know my crazy. And I'm showing deployment whose BOSS with the help of family and friends and Stella Artois. So this is my love letter to you. I love you so much that I love your kids. Enough to not ship them to you with my letter of resignation. Enough to consider a homecoming gift for you that doesn't start with hyster- and end in -echtomy. Enough to give you a love letter that takes the time of two back-to-back deployments to write and looks like two tiny, smiling faces when your plane lands and you see us waiting for you.

Just know that a lesser man would have gotten a screaming box (with holes punched for air and cracker crumbs falling out) in the mail months ago. But because you are kind and strong and so good to us and you love us with every single part of your being, we love you, too. And because I love you, I'm writing this letter. It's a long one, but you're worth it.

Love, your wife.

PS... I really did take a shower while they cried, but Nate was being banished to his room for a rebellious revolution of the French degree and Evelyn was soon soothed to sleep by his wails, so I felt it justified the neglect. So... you're welcome...?