Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beach Analogy

I was laying there today, floating along several yards off the shores of Clearwater Beach, looking at my toes as they bobbed above water, and two thoughts flew into my head. First off, how much I wish I'd painted my toes some pretty, bright color. Maybe a red. (I seem to be getting more girly in my old age. I feel a desperate need for bottles and bottles of pretty nail polish, and I recently bought my very first tube of stunning red lipstick!) Then I could take an awesome picture of them as they bobbed in and out of the waves. (If I'd had my camera out there, which I wouldn't have.) Second, how my floating there in the water lazily waiting for the waves to deposit me back on the shore made up a pretty good analogy for how I'd been feeling this week. (I was also hoping that a shark wasn't going to swim up and eat me, but I always hope that when I'm at the beach. I've seen Jaws too many times.)

We found out some pretty big news this week. It's huge. It's exciting, and it's something we've been praying for and wanting for a long time. So, when we found out, my first reaction was an almost overwhelming joy. Michael and I hugged, laughed, cried, and gave silent cheers (not wanting to wake up the littles, who were sleeping just feet away), both so happy that our prayers had been answered.

And then it hit me. Everything is going to change. And then I got scared. 

We're a military family. Out life is change. However, we've been at the same base now for five and a half years. It's not my favorite place, but I think it could be if only we were closer to family. I grew up with family close. I enjoyed the structure, the stability, the bonds I have with all members of my family. It's been a big worry for me that the boys won't have that. that they won't have a place they can come back to and feel like they are home, because the life of military families is a life of moving around and change. Except we've been at our base for five and a half years, with no sign of orders on the horizon. We have made an established, comfortable home in Idaho, even if it's not my favorite place. It is still my sons's home. And if it's home to him, that's important to me.

And this news means we'll be moving "soon". To a new place, with new people, and new experiences. While that is exciting to an extent, it is also scary. And as I thought about telling my oldest that we were going to have to leave my stomach began to tie its self into knots. Idaho is his home! It's his safe place. It's what he knows, and that is going to be taken away from him. No matter how much we wanted orders and wanted this change, it makes me sad to know that he is going to be sad, worried, and scared. No mother wants that for her babies, and I can't stop it. 

To make it worse for the planner in me, we don't know when or where we will be moving yet. (Which explains the quotations around the word soon from the paragraph above) In fact, it could be many, many months before we do know. It could be more than a year before this happens, or it could be six months from now. We have no idea. I am not the type of person who enjoys feeling out of control, but there you have it. There isn't a thing I can do about it. Or the fact that, as much as we don't like Idaho, we are very aware that we could end up somewhere far worse. Or even farther away from family. And that would be so sad. 

I'm also not the type of person who makes new friends without effort, and I hate leaving old ones. I try to make friends, but I am shy, and awkward, and a little backwards, and it takes me time. I cherish the people in my life who have managed to scratch through all that oddness on the surface and see who I really am inside, and I am going to hate leaving those people behind. It's not as bad as it could have been  in a different age. And age before Facebook and Skype and unlimited long distance, but it isn't the same as showing up on a friend's doorstep loaded up with babies, toys, food, and the promise of fun. It's not the same as being so comfortable in another person's house that you kick off your shoes, roll up your sleeves, and help with dinner and mopping and children as if it were your own home.

It's change, and change is scary. It is exciting, and new, and something we wanted, but it's also a little bit scary to know that your life isn't ever going to be quite the same again.   

So, back to me bobbing around on the waves at Clearwater staring at my toes and having deep thoughts about how this paralleled my life. :) There I was, splayed out in the water like a little girl and allowing the waves to bounce me around wherever they wished as I alternated looking up at the sunset streaked sky and my dismally unpainted toes, and I realized that I didn't really know where the current was taking me. (Though I would hopefully land somewhere close to where we had deposited our bags and towels before everyone tore off at breakneck speed for the joys of the waves.) I didn't know when I was going to get there, or what the stretch of beach I landed on would be like. I didn't know who the poor tourists would be wherever I happened to make shore or what they were going to think of the crazy almost thirty year old woman who washed up at their feet. Heck, I didn't know that a shark wasn't going to swim up and bite me in the rear end as I sat their pondering. (I sincerely hoped that they would not.)

What I did know was that, wherever I happened to be when I finally climbed out of the salty water, my family would be there waiting for me. They would smile and laugh and wrap me in their arms and it would feel like home. The ground would be solid under my feet, and if I did happen to stumble in the sand, my husband would be there to steady me. There would be pretty shells and not-so-pretty seaweed, and we would oooh and ahhh over the one while refusing to dwell on the other. I would photograph everything to chronicle yet another new adventure, and life will be good.

And it will be after all these big changes come too. Because we have each other.

And because it wouldn't feel right to have a post with absolutely no pictures, here they are. My plain, boring, unpainted toes. I think they need a remodel. However, I do have brand new, bright red, polka dot flip flops, and that is pretty fun! New can be awesome!