I don't want to re-post all the homecoming pictures here, on this blog. I kinda feel like I don't have the right to, in a way. It's not my story to tell. It is a very real part of our lives, though, and our lives will forever intersect with these amazing people. For better or worse, this military piece of our lives will be timed in deployments and homecomings. Six month increments that mark all of our mental calendars. This crappy rhythm of coming and going that always keeps us calculating, "How much longer?"
I want to remember my part in it all. My part being: the observer. It was tough to catch two reunions at once. One soldier was backlit by a huge wall of airport windows and the other was standing directly under fluorecent lights. I was wrapped up in the snapping and the snotting and the yelling and the clapping and it took me a while to really let the tension out of my bones and just process the whole event. There were so many emotions flowing. I kinda felt like I was intruding, just being there. I'm glad I had the excuse of taking pictures. :)
It was very much the same and very, very different from when Sean came home. The emotions were all there, but the difference between a mother being reunited with her children and a father were entirely unique. Hearing Konner yell, "MOM!"the way he did...I will never get that out of my head. The second unforgettable moment was hearing the other soldier Mama tell her little guy that it was okay to cry. That one really got to me.
How does a little kid handle the emotions of a parent's absense? How do you explain time to someone who isn't old enough to understand? It's hard enough for an adult to process and we get it. How many kids? How many deployments? I dunno, just thoughts bumbling around in my head as Sean is scheduling training for his next deployment.
I'm thinking it will be easier next time around. In some ways. It may be tougher in others. I guess knowing what to expect is half of it. Like child birth. Only without getting a sweet little baby at the end and no drugs to dull the pain.
Anyway, I'm glad my people are back. The whole album in on my photography page on Facebook.