Homecomings can often be a combination of excitement and stress. The excitement part is easy to explain. It has been 6, 9, 12, 24, etc. months since the service member has been home. Being able to be reunited with a spouse is sometimes reminiscent of the wedding day butterflies of excitement.
The military spouse plans out what they will wear - something flattering to remind the service member what they have been missing, but not so trashy that it will reflect poorly to their command. They makes sure that the house is in order, the vehicles are good to go, and their hair has recently been cut/colored/styled. If children are involved, their countdown calendar is almost out of days and they can not wait to have a bed time story from their hero, rather than having to watch the same recorded story over and over – something they treasure, but is obviously not the same. Even their outfits are planned to look great for the big day.
Of course, also like a wedding day, it is not without its own stress. All of that planning takes time and careful organization. But a veteran military spouse has learned that not everything will go exactly as planned. Inevitably someone will spill something on that “perfect outfit” exactly the moment one needs to head out the door. The house will most likely have toys on the floor, dishes in a sink, and beds unmade. As time goes on in a deployment, it is easy to forget to take the service member’s car for a spin every once in awhile, and now it has trouble starting. And everyone has had at least one experience where a hair stylist has become a little too “happy” with scissors.
While it is easy to envision the “perfect” homecoming, remember that what makes it perfect is being reunited again. All those other details will still be there, except now you can face them together.