This picture has nothing to do with this post other than that it was the last day everything was normal.
And Titus is cute.
And his body language and look of confusion is exactly how I feel.
Thursday, the boys wanted to go bowling with Grandma and Grandpa. We had so much fun. After the two games, the boys begged to go home with Grandpa while my mom and I went outlet shopping. Two stores in, Sean called.
"Are you having fun?"-Sean
"Want me to ruin that fun or...?"-Sean
"You wrecked your car!"
Moving was so far from my mind. You wouldn't think it would be. You would think given that we're military and moving is our most frequent pastime, it would've been right there in the realm of possibilities. But this was supposed to be it. This was going to be "home." We had plans.
And with one little email, all of that changed. Sean has been "non-vol'd" to Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Japan. That means, no one else volunteered to take the open slot. Sean is the seventh person they tagged. Four people before him took the "7 day option." That means they got the orders and within a week said, "Yeah, I'm done." They didn't owe any time to the military and quit or retired. Two others had a medical reason or someone in their family had a medical reason they can't go to that specific base.
Sean still has a two and a half year commitment.
The shock has worn off. We've already made some connections. The Air Force family is a small one and they rally when needs arise. It's one of the things I love most about this lifestyle...we look out for one another. I know that we are going to love it. I know that we have been given the opportunity of a lifetime. I can't wait to show my kids a whole new slice of the world.
That said, we had plans. We had Ewok Village plans. We had a monster deck planned for us to enjoy for years and years to come. We had plans to enjoy living in the same town as my parents for the first time in a very long time. It was my kids turn to have Grandma and Grandpa. We bought this house because we fell in love with it. The longer we've lived here, the harder we've fallen. With more than just the house, we love this town and the people and the future that we saw coming together.
If we had known we'd only be in Virginia for two years, we never would've bought a house. As much as I love them, we probably wouldn't have gotten Gus and Ruby. I certainly wouldn't have encouraged my parents to move here. But you live life and you make decisions with what you know. It's funny how priorities change. Thursday morning, I was focused on buying Fall clothes and taking the boys to a pumpkin patch. Now it's all about finding information on Japan and keeping the house spotless and scrambling. The good news is that I still get to buy mums and pumpkins(curb appeal, y'know?). The bad news, well, I don't want to complain because there are bigger problems in this world than the one's I'm having.
Let me reiterate, we are excited to go to Japan. We know we're going to love it. It's just change(who likes that?) with a ton of stress thrown in. Financial and otherwise. We have no time and endless tasks. But...we've been here many, many times. We've done this many times before, on a slightly smaller scale and with less help.
As long as we're together, it's going to be just fine. People have asked if Sean could go alone. The short answer is, "Probably." But the stresses on a military marriage are already intense. My goodness, if you could've been a fly on the wall this morning(insert demon emoticons x2). The stress is getting to us and sometimes we forget we're on the same team. Every day service, deployments and TDYs force enough separation into any military marriage. I would never leave my husband's side, if given the choice.
We have three months. To sell(or rent) our house and our motorhome and our cars(at least one of them). To figure out what to take with us and what to put in storage. To get passports and medical check ups and...Lord only knows what else. I don't know how we only have three months, but I try to focus on the end. I'm trying to focus on the fun parts and adventure and imagining all the things we're going to see.
The boys are good. Felix is super excited and plans to learn Japanese. Simon was fine once he took a look at the Civil Air Patrol page for Yokota. Their patch has Godzilla on it and their plane has a big dragon painted on the side. Jude is oblivious. Titus says he's "about 50% excited," but he says it with tears in his eyes. He came into our room this morning and said, "Ohayou." That's "good morning" in Japanese. He only remembered it because it sounds like, "Ohio."
We hit the ground running yesterday and popped into a local realtor's office. I have to think it was a small lesson in God saying, "See? I've got ya."
The realtor is a Navy wife and she gets it. Not everyone gets it. She came today 150% prepared. She gave us a very short list of things we need to do to get our house listed. She was super encouraging and gave us great news. She complimented my style. When she saw the boys' built in bunks, she said, "Did you guys build these? I can see why you love this place." When I started crying at the end of our time together, not only did she get it, she joined me with a sniffle of her own. We both had mascara dribbling down our cheeks and that made me feel like everything is going to be just fine.