I've been married to my husband for almost 4 years now (he's been in the Coast Guard much longer), and am only now starting to realize all of the ironies that exist in a military lifestyle. I think the whole "hurry up and wait" was one of the first concepts for me to grasp. There's nothing like hanging up the phone after the detailer calls, scrambling to analyze each of the locations, submitting your list, and then waiting months to hear the result.
Then there was the birth of our baby girl. I realized last summer that I'd most likely have to give birth in a military hospital. I'm not sure what scared me about it - perhaps I had images of being "issued" a baby, or denied pain medication and being told to "suck it up, soldier" (neither of which occurred), but I was afraid that the birth experience wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be. By the third trimester came around, I was actually excited to give birth at the military hospital. The labor and delivery nurses were excellent and we knew what to expect. Early one December morning I called my hospital to tell them I was coming in, and they told me they were full. As was my backup military hospital. I guess my wishes from the past summer to deliver in a civilian hospital were fulfilled as I was rerouted from two military hospitals to the nearest civilian one.
It seems that we've been on the one-year assignment schedule. Hubby and I have moved pretty much every year since we've been dating. I've come to enjoy the nomadic lifestyle and we've lived in some pretty cool places. This year summer we're NOT PCSing. And for a while, I was slightly disappointed. Where's the adventure? I mean, sure, we've hung up pictures on the walls this time, and actually unpacked all of our boxes... but wouldn't it be fun to see somewhere new?
Slowly I'm coming to realize that it'll be nice to put down some roots. I am recognizing other moms at the park and starting to become friends with some of them. We know the checkout lady at our local grocery store. We know and like our neighbors. I've figured out where to take the drycleaning, where the yummiest Thai restaurant is, which area Target store is best. There are still some things that we haven't figured out. But this time, instead of leaving them unknown, we can work on them. We can invest in this place. I think I might like this settling in thing.