What Did I Expect, Really?

Well, I’m shocked that I wanted to spend more than four days with my wife after not seeing her for over two months. I don’t even know how else I’m supposed to feel in this stupid situation. Not like I’m going to watch her leave and think to myself, “You know? I’m totally ready to not see my pregnant wife for another three months. Those four days were justttttt enough to hold me over.” It’s the most obvious thing to write in the world. Watching her leave was sad. I’m still pretty sad about it. Watching her cry sucks. I felt like crying at the time too, but it never happens. It’s always at an airport or something. Too public.

We had a great time while she was here, though. Took her to the base the first day so she could get a sense of my daily routine (and to make sure I wasn’t hiding her existence to random women on the base, but that went unspoken). She couldn’t envision what the base looked like from my description because my description consisted of, “it’s just like any other base,” which proves that I need to write way more often. I think she wanted me to wax poetic about how the maroon tin roofs (rooves?) of the buildings defiantly reflected from the sun and gave the base an eminent glow while…I don’t know…the antiquated but reliable architecture of the offices reminded those entitled military Yankees of Central American improvisation and mettle. Whatever. She got to see my dorm room, and we got to take the twin bed for a spin like we were in our late teens. Fun stuff.

I think my favorite part of the entire visit was the both of us sitting on my bed, using the TV as background noise while we both caught up on our assignments. Silent, with the occasional exception of leaning over for a kiss or asking how far we were in our papers. Everything else in our lives is basically new and totally liquid, but none of it mattered for the 90 minutes that it lasted. It’s something we’ve done countless times while I was at home daily, and I took it for granted right up until that point.

I lied. My favorite part of the visit was definitely Rachel framing her first ultrasound for me and tracking the baby’s rapid heartbeat together. The previous paragraph is a solid runner-up, though.

The next afternoon, we took a two hour ride to a brewery when neither of us could drink alcohol (my squadron is doing prohibition since we’ve mistaken this assignment for a reality show and Rachel is pregnant) and hung out by the lake all weekend. Went birdwatching on a poorly designed boat (which was way more fun than it sounds). Took way too many pictures of the waterfall. Spent much of the evening walking through town with this older couple that teaches in different international schools in Central and South America for a living. No TV, very little wifi, no minutia, no worries.

We spent Sunday at the Intercontinental, where we exchanged nature for room service and hot showers and adequate plumbing. Football was cool too. Even had a first world issue of the room not having ESPN in English. The IC is a pretty somber experience for us both because it reminds us of the end, since the next stop is always the airport. There’s this inescapable cloud of finality that hovers over an otherwise wonderful experience. I tried Twitter for a solid 15 minutes. Gave it a real effort. Nothing. Maybe it’ll be better during basketball season. It won’t, but I can dream. Who cares?

The countdown resets. Again. I should probably look forward to seeing Rachel again in late December instead of dwelling on the fact that I won’t see her during her entire 2nd trimester. She’ll go from having a baby bump to a full grown belly. I won’t even be there to find out what the gender will be. This is supposed to get easier. I’m on month four. It’s not getting easier. Everything sucks again. Can’t wait to not do this anymore. Until then, I’ll just keep breathing.


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