These past few days leading up to THE day have been mostly routine and uneventful. It has been the usual thing -preschool, dentist, errands, trips to the park, and meals with friends- until today. Today it hit me. Today I went into full panic mode.
Today I CLEANED.
It came on much like those nesting urges you get when you’re pregnant. Suddenly I had to clean the entire house, top to bottom, and I could not stop or rest until it was done. I scrubbed, bleached, vacuumed, organized and filed what felt like seven months worth of mess all the while feeling seven months worth of emotions.
I finally tackled the closet, putting my clothes back on my own side, wiping the thick layer of dust off Shawn’s shoes, pulling out his favorite shirts to be ironed. As I was working, I picked up a pile of his t-shirts that haven’t moved since he left. They smelled like the beach - like sunscreen and summer. They smelled like the vacation we took for Shawn’s pre-deployment leave nine months ago. We spent an incredible week in Turks and Caicos in August just before Shawn left for two months of training in California. He came home for a weeklong goodbye in October before heading to Iraq. No wonder the shirts never got washed or put away.
Nine months ago, Tristan was 4 inches shorter and still slept with a pacifier. In fact, we sent his pacifiers to Iraq in Shawn’s first care package and Tristan has been turning into a “big kid” more and more every day since. Nine months ago, Kenna had no teeth or climbing skills and still rode backwards in the car in her infant carrier. They have grown and changed so much and while I have kept Shawn informed of every milestone and achievement I can’t help but think he is in for a shock. We all are.
So, there you have a few of the rambling thoughts that go through one’s mind as she scrubs crayon marks off the toilet. Right now, Shawn would tell me not to over-do it. After all, look where he’s coming from. At its dirtiest, our house would still be a welcome sight to his sand weary eyes. Nevertheless, I have no control over this instinctive need to prepare and I know soon I will gather my family together in our cozy nest to hide out and enjoy being whole once again.