I didn’t get it for a long time. My husband is the social one. I ALWAYS have a great time when we go places and attend parties or other such work functions, but my nature is to be more of a homebody. Putting myself out there, having “witty repartee” with strangers while not simultaneously spilling a drink on someone or falling down in heels I can barely walk in, or some other such social faux pas = my worst nightmare. I have visions of finding myself in awkward social situations (think Bridget Jones) but really, those moments never materialize, we have a great time and I usually have something in common with at least one person. Enough that a semi-intelligent conversation is possible.
Driving home last night after visiting a friend in Seattle, I look out over the bay at the city lights and was thinking about how our new town is comprised of a majority of military and retired military families. How long it took me to fully embrace our military family!
I am embarrassed to admit it, but I was reluctant. For the first years of our marriage, we chose to live off base. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it definitely sets you apart. There is something unique, intangible, and understood about living amongst fellow spouses. Living on base for the first time at our last duty station taught me that.
There is something to be said for having other spouses who know exactly what you’re going through. We can all knowingly nod our heads as we talk about crazy movers, the heartbreak of saying goodbye to friends yet again, or having your kids each born in a different state, or country! Having to keep it together long enough to comfort the little ones when they don’t understand why mommy or daddy have to leave AGAIN, changing schools for the umpteenth time, and all the other stuff that goes with this life is just understood.
To the military community: For the immediate acceptance of our family, even though you don’t know us, I thank you. For the smiles as we walk to the playground, thank you. For the welcome to the neighborhood hug, thank you. For teaching my children, as well as me, resilience, thank you. For teaching me to stop resisting what is, and embrace it – I thank you.
I thank you.
And I won’t take it for granted.