When Kyle and I got married one year ago, I assumed learning to share a bed would be my greatest struggle.
When my family vacationed, I was insistent that I would NOT share a bed. I yielded any hotel bed to my sisters, preferring instead to sleep on the floor. Dust bunnies are more desirable companions than sisters who breathe too loudly and sometimes roll over, shaking the mattress and pulling the covers. Sisters disturb your slumber.
In the weeks before our honeymoon, I stocked up on earplugs (I am still impressed by the myriad varieties) and white noise apps, just in case I needed to drown out his breathing. I warned him that, if he snored, he would be asked to leave the premises.
We also bought a king bed so there would be enough space for a No Man’s Land between us…and enough room for my cocoon (/barrier) of pillows absolutely required for me to sleep.
The Princess and the Pea has nothing on me.
I was prepared for the worst. What I did not expect was learning to share my space rather painlessly in our first few months of marriage.
It was actually easy considering the fact that we traveled extensively and didn’t sleep in our own bed for 4 months. It was adventure after adventure…fluffy hotel bed after fluffy hotel bed. He didn’t even snore. He was always there, and it just got to be comfortable.
Then real life started.
And this life is one where your husband sleeps on the ship many more nights than he sleeps at home…even if the ship is in port.
Getting used to him wasn’t hard.
What’s hard is not knowing whether I need to get used to him being here or being away.
What’s hard is wondering whether sleeping alone in a king bed or curled up on the couch would be a more comfortable option.
What’s hard is knowing this is my normal. This isn’t rare or unusual. This is the Navy.
No matter what anyone says, nothing could have prepared me for this life. Yes I chose it. Yes I was Navy kid. But don’t think either of those things makes this easier.
And I haven’t even lived through a deployment yet. By our next anniversary, I will have. I will spend the majority of the next 365 days alone in my big king bed with my multitudinous pillows.
Some days the suckage is just too much.
So I can’t think about that.
Next year, I will have something awesome to say – something about homecomings and surviving two years of sea duty and being stronger for it.
But right now, I just know, even though he’s been gone and will be gone for most of the first few years of our marriage, I wouldn’t have married anyone else.
Yep, life sucks.
But he doesn’t.
He’s brave and responsible and kind and strong and determined. He’s selfless and thoughtful. He loves his country and knows his duty. He works hard, works 26 hour days, and still wants to walk around the neighborhood with me at night, drinking wine out of a Tervis cup (we don’t want to break any open container laws).
We watch Veep and The Mindy Project after dinner, we play Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit…and even though his eyes are drooping and he knows he has to wake up and do it all over again in 4 hours, he doesn’t want to miss a chance to spend time with me.
I am not sure I’d get to know him like this if he wasn’t in the Navy.
I’m not sure that, if life was any other way, if life was any easier…that one year into marriage, I’d get to know this many wonderful things about the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with.
“If there were a choice…– a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, [she], for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths.” (Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy)
The Navy gives you the depths, that’s for sure; but maybe, just maybe, the heights make it worth it.