The Navy’s presence in our lives has been at a higher level in recent weeks. Usually, we’re just a family. A family of four Americans who live overseas for the time being. The organization that got us here isn’t always top of the list of things we think about or talk about. We aren’t one of those families that speaks in acronyms. I don’t hold an office in a spouses club. The kids don’t live by their father’s rank. So, it’s actually sort of a novelty to suddenly have reasons to be thinking “Navy”.
For two separate reasons the Navy has been brought front and center into our at-home lives again. The first? A promotion. And with it, a feeling of extreme oldness. A month or so ago, Ben received a big box of new uniform items in the mail. New patches and pins for his new rank. This time around he also had to order a new cover (or, hat, in real-world speak). When he pulled it out of the box, I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped. Nooo, no, no. That can’t be right. “Honey, I think someone went a little overboard with all the gold. That’s got to be a mistake. They sent you an old man hat.” Because when you are promoted to Commander, you get to wear the cover with all the gold oak leaves scattered across the brim (or scrambled eggs in Navy speak, if you can believe that). And all those gold oak leaves scream “old”.
So we had a promotion ceremony, presided over by General Breedlove, and attended by lots of friends and, a rarity over here for Americans, family, a benefit to living in Ben’s home country. Ben worked the logistics, I ran the vacuum, and we spent the weekend with cousins and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and a mother and friends, old and new, coming and going.
The Navy is also showing its face in our home these days as we wait, impatiently, for our next hometown to be chosen for us. My freshly minted Commander husband will, indeed, have a Command position… sometime this year…. somewhere in the United States. The list of possibilities was handed to us. There were twelve different cities on it. Twelve. We ranked them. And now we wait.
And while I should be going about my business with a smile on my face, not worrying about where we will be living next Christmas, how I really feel is tellmewhereyou’resendingusrightnowrightnowrightnow. Because even as a seasoned Navy wife with a husband who wears an old man hat, I’m really bad at waiting for these things.
On the opposing side to the excitement of finding out where our next new home will be is the melancholy of losing friends to their next new homes. We’ve had nearly everyone we’ve become close to, leave, taking their children, our kid’s friends, with them. Poor L has lost so many friends that she opted out of a birthday party this year. She just couldn’t pull together a guest list that included anyone but acquaintances.
So we gave her a weekend away. Not away from us, mind you, but away from home. See, she loves hotels. We stay in them often, due to the amount of travel that we do, but never for the hotel itself. Our not-so-little-anymore girl just wants to swim in an indoor pool, order room service, enjoy a big breakfast and watch tv from her bed. So that’s what we did.
Happy tenth birthday, Boo Boo! And congratulations, Commander Ben Martin. I’m so proud of you.