I wrote a long and rambling post for Memorial Day that I ultimately decided not to post because it feels too raw and too rough around the edges. To be honest, I found it to be too much about me and my experience and not about those no longer with us. And that just seemed wrong. There are nuggets that I’d like to eventually nurture into full posts but for now, it will stay in draft form. Our holiday weekend was spent outside of Philadelphia with my sister and her family. We braved Sesame Place, roasted marshmallows around the fire pit, took advantage of their close proximity to a Wawa, and most importantly, we remembered those whose service to their country resulted in the ultimate sacrifice.
Our neighborhood pool opened over the weekend so we’ve been spending our afternoons there and determined to make the most of living within walking distance of the pool during our last few weeks in Virginia. But perhaps the biggest news in our household is that we officially have a kindergartner in the house (what-what). For old time sake, check out this post from his very first day of preschool. We were still living in temporary lodging on JBAB, we were a family of three, and thrilled to have just moved to the nation’s capital.
And here we are now – the little guy is a not-so-little five-years-old and officially a Pre-K graduate, we added a rambunctious little girl into the mix, and we’re in the process of saying goodbye to Washington DC. We still have no idea what elementary school Weston will attend and we won’t know until we arrive at Fort Leavenworth and told which student housing area we’re assigned (just one of the many joys associated with PCSing). But we know it will be one of three so at least we have that going for us. He is a little nervous to be starting a new school in a new state but I have no doubt that his resilient attitude will pull him through. However, we welcome any advice you may have to help aid with the transition because as most people know from experience, five can be quite the emotional roller-coaster.
The best we could do…
In about 30 days or less, we will be leaving the DC Metro area for the land of sunflowers, tornadoes, and delicious BBQ. These last few weeks will be bittersweet – we have loved so many things about our not-quite-three-years here and will miss the museums, the Potomac, the greenery, and the friends we’ve picked up along the way. But the excitement associated with embarking on a new adventure makes the ripping of the band-aid a little less painful.
I often get asked by non-military families if it bothers us to move so often. Truth be told, I feel like we don’t move that much, at least compared to other military families. This PCS will be our 5th move in 10 years, which may seem quite high in the civilian world but par for the course in military land. While certain aspects of moving are stressful (e.g. we will not know our address until we’re assigned housing when we get to Kansas, which means our mail situation will likely get a little messy), I tend to enjoy the process of purging our house (I’m trying to follow the advice of Marie Kondo) and the opportunity to ‘start over’. And I do fully embrace the idea that attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure, which helps me manage the crazier aspects of PCSing.
However, it is beginning to sink it that we will be saying goodbye to an area of the country we have fallen in love with. We will likely be back at some point during Clay’s career but it won’t be the same. Nothing ever is. The Washington DC area will forever be intertwined with memories of our young family – Weston’s first day of preschool, the birth of Violet, and the celebration of our 10 year wedding anniversary are just a few highlights on the reel marked Fall 2012 – Spring 2015. For me, home isn’t a concrete place – home is wherever I happen to be with my family. And for the past 32 months, home has been this area. We will make new homes together as we continue to follow the Army’s orders. But we will never forget our home here.
Through the years, I’ve written many posts that discuss my husband’s involvement with the military, specifically the Army. Deployments, TDYs, homecomings, PCSs, and the harsh realities of war are just a handful of topics that pepper this little blog. Because I don’t blog anonymously, I try not too be too forthcoming about the details of my husband’s career. I don’t write about awards, specific achievements, medals, or positions. Partly because of PERSEC, but mainly because they’re his accomplishments and not mine.
Last night, we attended a banquet where Clay was a recipient of an award – the name of which is not important in regards to this blog. Of course I am proud of him for earning such an honor and continue to blown away by his sense of duty and commitment to the country. But at the end of the day, he’s still the amusing and bright man I fell in love with almost 15 years ago – regardless of whatever decorations happen to be on his uniform.
Despite the DC humidity (seriously – my hair was curled to the nines and it fell flat approximately 8 seconds upon stepping outside), we had a nice time banqueting (?) and participating in some military traditions. After the ceremony, I had people coming up to me and offering their congratulations to Clay and to me, which just made me all sorts of uncomfortable, seeing as how he was the recipient, not me. But I know they meant well – I just hope that others don’t perceive me as a rank-wearing wife who takes on her husband’s accomplishments as her own. I mean, obviously I am. I just don’t want others to think that about me.
All kidding aside, it was a fun evening and I couldn’t think of a better person to spend it with. I’d share more photos from last night but they all seem to feature me on the left with a sorority arm and Clay on the right in front of a variety of backgrounds – we clearly need to up our posing game.