It had been only three months since we purchased our first home when my husband met me in the kitchen with a look in his eyes I hadn’t seen before. He grabbed my hands, looked into my questioning eyes, and told me about an email he had received. The Navy was sending him to Afghanistan. He would leave in a month.
I know my knees buckled and I clung to my husband, shocked.
My next clear memory is of us sitting at our kitchen table, sighing big sighs, trying to pry our minds and hearts open wide enough to take in our new, monumental reality.
Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning I barreled into our bedroom where my husband was busy working, asking where I could find our extra checks so I could pay the piano tuner. I was stopped in my tracks by the slow turning of his head from the computer screen. On his face I saw an eerily familiar look, tender, shocked, excited, one I remembered from that day in our kitchen years ago. The Navy was calling once again, asking him this time to teach, sending him this time to a place where we could all go.
Our family will be packing up this summer and moving all the way across this great land of ours, from our home here in Southern California to the state of my birth, Maryland.
Understandably it has been hard for me to write lately, hard to find a way through the whirl in my head and put words down. Inside the whirl are military acronyms like PCS and DITY and I have spent way too much time online trying to understand the layout of the city of Annapolis, which is hard for a girl who doesn’t carry a map in her head. Remember that quote from Prince Caspian, anyone?
There are so many layers to this, so many things I am pondering, ways that this could go, reasons I think God may be moving us there, moving us now.
I am sure we are not the only couple who stays up late at night talking out our dreams. Or whose conversations on date nights revolve often around the what-ifs of the future. I love dreaming with my husband. The possibility of Annapolis has been a part of those dreamy conversations and I am giddy to know that a door to a dream we have dreamt together is opening.
We have told our kids, our families, and the word is trickling out to our community here. And you know what? Maybe I am seeing something that is not really there, but it feels like something has already shifted in our family, like we are turned toward one another in a subtle but powerful and different way. Perhaps it is because we know that soon it will be just the five of us. I have noticed more deliberate talking and sharing of feelings and thoughts. More laughter and inside jokes. More tears and tender conversations.
My dear husband, professor that he is, asked each of our kids to write down their thoughts about moving. They willingly complied, and I will close with the conclusion written by my 12-year old:
“In conclusion, moving gives me mixed thoughts. One side of me is excited for a new experience, while the other mourns its fate. I can only hope the two will balance out.”