Today my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on different ends of the planet. This was not an easy thing to do. On my end, it took a lot of racking my brain trying to figure out exactly what kind of lovey-dovey gift to give a man in a combat zone who A)doesn't have room in which to keep anything and B)has already started shipping most of the stuff he was keeping in his space back to the US. To make matters worse, I have always tried to give anniversary gifts that go along with the traditional themes. This year's theme: fruit and flowers---I was royally screwed. But I came up with a pretty ingenious idea, filled a care package full of fruit-flavored cigars, peach salsa and corn chips, fruity gum, and a promise of a new grill on which to enjoy delisciously-charred fare paired with Blue Moons and orange wedges, shipped everything off weeks early, and waited to see if everything made it to its destination in tact and on time. It actually made it there a couple weeks early.
My gift from him did, too. But for whatever reason, (and probably just to drive me crazy) my husband told me that I had to wait to open my gift until our actual anniversary. And so I waited...
Two big boxes sat in my closet for about a week and this morning when I woke up, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I ran to open the first of the two boxes and just as I began to see something beneath the packing material, I heard my son's voice call out to me from the monitor. Opening the presents would have to wait a little longer...
I finally got to open them this afternoon while my son was napping. (My husband follows the traditional themes too, by the way. I know, I know...he's such a sweetie!) And while I loved the gift and his thoughtfulness in choosing it for me, I was a little bit sad once everything had been taken out of the box. Looking at my pile of presents, I realized that for all intents and purposes, our anniversary celebration was over--and in effect, our anniversary was over.
So as it turns out, I am so glad he made me wait to open those stinkin' boxes. Like I said, knowing who he is, it was probably just to drive me nuts. But it played well to his advantage, because it gave me a chance to celebrate our special day on our special day, even though we are miles and miles apart.
So much of this Army lifestyle involves playing the "waiting game."
Waiting for him to come home for supper (which he usually misses and has to reheat in the microwave.) Waiting for time in service raises and promotions. Waiting to hear orders on where the Army is sending us next (fingers crossed for NC!) Waiting on training schedules/field assignments/deployment dates. Waiting for his phone calls from overseas. Waiting to celebrate birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions he missed at a later date. Waiting to see if the doctors will induce your labor so your husband can see his son being born. Waiting to start your own career. Waiting for the call of his return flight home.........
But the boxes were worth waiting for, and so is he.
(Additional FYI-another one of our anniversary traditions is that we have a drink in the evening out of the beer steins we used on our wedding day...sorry, babe. I didn't wait for you to do this one!) ;)
Happy Anniversay, Soldier! Here's to many, MANY more!