May was a month filled with logistics. How to get from point A to point B. What to do with cars. Selling houses. Packing. Organizing. Purging. We left our house a few days ago and it was a hard day. When I express my concerns or anxieties about moving I always hear, “You knew what you were getting into when you married into the Coast Guard.” While there is some truth to that, the 26 year old me had no idea what the 35 year old me would be getting herself and her family into. Here are a few things that I have learned:
1. The Coast Guard has given us a nomadic life that is rich and always interesting. We are proud of what Wes does and most of the time we love it.
2. Moving every few years gets a lot harder as the age of your children increases. We lived in Cali for 4 years and made roots. Friends. Surrogate families. Fell in love with teachers and schools. It was not a big deal to move babies, but it is a big deal to move kids.
3. It really sucks to fill out preschool paperwork and be unable to fill in the emergency contact info. You realize that you literally do not know a single person that can be your “person”. Thankfully, this simple fact forces you to get out and make some friends.
4. You will make the best and dearest friends, and they will be all over the world. Really, we are so lucky to have met the people that we have and we really are good about staying in touch.
5. The military community really is like none other. They are a group of people that give unconditional support and will help any and every one that comes to them. We are a fiercely loyal bunch and I am proud to be a part of it.
6. Where we live is just geography. The 5 of us are what we consider to be home. We stick together and are a close knit little bunch because we have to depend on each other so much.
7. Make your life as simple as possible. Do not acquire a lot of stuff. This move was the easiest one because we have pared our lives to the essentials. It makes the packing and unpacking so much easier. It also makes the living easier.
8. My kids are rock stars. In the last 5 nights, they have slept in 4 different cities. They have spent a lot of time in the car and they did not bitch or moan. They get that this is an adventure. They are making the best out of something that is hard. For all of us. Play up the adventure aspect of moving. Make its sound exciting and fun. Right this minute, the three of them are sleeping sideways in a bed and holding hands. Can you hear my heart melting?
9. Treat the place that you live like you are tourist. No matter how long you live somewhere, do the things that tourists do. Visit all of the kitschy things and do the dorky stuff. Explore. Adventure. Get the most out of each and every place that you live.
10. I understand that my attitude is the one that dictates how my children deal with moving. If I am down, and depressed, and make no effort to make new friends and see new things, then they will share my attitude. Even if it is hard, I am sad, and I miss my life, I put on a happy face for my children’s sake.
I am off to bed, tomorrow we are headed to Colorado. Or we will spend the day in Cheyenne. Who knows. We are enjoying the ride and seeing the country.