Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We woke up together only because I had slipped in bed beside him to take an afternoon nap. At 3 pm we hear the baby chirp over the monitor, and he gets up to use the restroom. I lift R out of her crib in the nursery, then Senpai walks past us in the hallway as he goes back to the darkened master bedroom. I carry R down the steep staircase, "Let's go downstairs to let Daddy sleep, Sweetheart."

R and I return back upstairs at 5 pm. I place his daughter on his inert form and Senpai blinks himself awake. I glance at the clock, "It's 5 o'clock. Are you ready to get up or do you want to sleep some more?" "I'm awake," he says, still blinking the sleep away.

We make dinner, put R to bed at 7 pm, and settle in to enjoy the season finale of "Chuck" that we had missed yesterday. The ending has us both laughing with relief and gasping in anticipation for the season to come. September is too far away. Senpai gets up and switches the tv feed from his computer back to the network stations. He flips through the channels and stops on "Dancing With the Stars." He comes to lie back down on the couch and I gently run my fingers over his feet, just the way he likes it. He falls back to sleep. The show ends, I get up to waste time in front of my computer in the dining room. He asks across the room, "What time is it?" "9:17," I reply. "Woohoo!" he exclaims sarcastically, "I get 15 more minutes."

I don't know if he fell directly back to sleep after that, but when I lean over him at 9:30 pm he is out cold. "It's time to get up now, Sweetie. 9:30." He has a harder time blinking off the sleep this time. When he is able to get up from the couch, he makes his way to the shower, and I start gathering the coffee making supplies. Fill the reservoir with water, stuff the grounds into the filter, pound them down, then add more and pound again. Screw the filter into the machine and turn it on. Pour milk into the frother mug and position it under the steamer nozzle. Watch the espresso drip into the decanter then flip the switch to steam. As the temperature on the thermometer rises, fill one travel coffee mug with ice and squirt flavored syrup into another. Pour half of the espresso into each travel mug. Add creamer to the iced one, and the steamed milk in the other. Screw lids on and assemble nicely on the kitchen island along with whatever meal was thrown together and some snacks. While I'm doing all this, he is donning a uniform. The tan, hybrid computer byte camouflage does not accentuate his olive skin as nicely as the old green camo used to, but it could just be the paleness of exhaustion washed over him.

This is his third night of doing midnight shifts ("mids") for the Air Force. As my day winds down, his "day" is gearing up, and that thought alone is weirdly unnatural. We are both looking forward to getting back into the rut of the typical 9-5 work week, or in his case, usually 6:30-3:30. Anything but this 11 pm to 7:30 am jazz. He is out the door at 10:30 pm. I type up a blog post and get ready to go to my lonely bed. Senpai will be back tomorrow at 8 am. Three more nights of this.

Though he is asked to do a lot, and sometimes it feels like too much, he proudly serves his country. He does it for the betterment of himself and the nation, but mostly he does it for his family. He is a Reservist. My love, my heart, my rock, my Senpai.



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