In that singular moment, 186 days apart was so worth it. Don't get me wrong, I would never volunteer to send my husband away for half a year, but the feeling of being reunited is devoid of explanation. You have survived by adapting your life to no longer include them. It's a harsh reality, but the only way to weather their absence. You have handled finances, cars, houses, pets, landscaping, jobs, sick kids, cranky kids. They have balanced their military duties and facetime dates with their families. They have missed first words and first steps. Sweet snuggles and slobbery kisses. Each spouse thinks the other has it worse. And perhaps that empathy is the key to staying happily married. But finally the day arrives. That magical moment when loved ones are reconnected. For us its a quiet occasion. One that goes under the radar of most bystanders. But it is everything to me. To him. To our son. And we wouldn't have it any other way.
It should be mentioned that in all my fantasies leading up to this moment, Rowan would be walking and run into his Father's arms. The reality was that he only knew his Dad through the two dimensional screen of an iPhone. And although close, he hadn't quite bolstered the courage to take those maiden steps alone. That is until the day before Ryan was due home. They were wobbly and uncertain, but they were unassisted steps all on his own. So when the moment came, that his Father was finally right there in front of him, what did he do?
You'll just have to watch the video to find out :)
It may not have been exactly how I imagined it, but it is priceless nonetheless and something we'll laugh about for the rest of his life.