Home sweet home.
Like most military families, we spent a few years moving from base house to base house. A good chunk of our time complaining about: rules, regulations, stipulations, expectations etc… Pertaining to our dog, our yard, our trash… Many times my husband would take the time to remind me “Make sure you don’t do that on base Aliyah!”
Needless to say we always spoke of the day that we would leave a base and be ‘normal’. That day finally came on recruiting duty. The military tossed us right into the heart of a very civilian population, with the closest military base located almost 4 hours away.
It was exciting at first, just like every previous relocation had been. New places, new restaurants, new people, little shops and parks to find… However, it soon became clear that something was missing.
My first irritation was the local grocery store specials could never compare to the commissary! There was no base theater, No base gym, pool, or base activities where my family and I were bound to run into military members & families that we had known or met years ago.
Then finally, when My daughter came home after the first week of school and exclaimed in exhaustion mixed with sadness, “Mama did you know that there are people that live in one house their whole lives?! Most of my class has lived their whole lives in one place! I told them that we move cause daddy is in the military, but they just don’t get it!”
At that moment, I held her so tightly. And as she burst into tears, I did the same. That night, the conversation at dinner following us into our pillow talk, focused on all the wonderful things that we remembered about moving to a new ‘base’.
Through conversation, we rediscovered the beautiful relocation patterns and habits that we once mistook for absolute chaos. Finding out the neighbors unit is down the street from Hubby’s, The close knit DOD schools, where every kid was new! The immediate invitations to backyard BBQ’s, party’s and base community gatherings. The speed in which friendships became ‘family’, was obvious, because we all lived under the same 3 – 5 year hourglass timers. No explanations necessary, they just ‘Got It’. We all just ‘Got it’.
That night whispering in the dark, and feeling quite displaced for the very first time, we discovered that at this point in our lives, Uncle Sam could send us anywhere. As long as we were in or around a base, we are “Home Sweet Home”.