Being a Navy wife makes you weird. Most civilians don't understand what your husband does, why you are okay with moving so often, why your husband refuses to put a mini-uniform on your kids or how you could possibly feel at peace with the idea of your husband having a dangerous job. It seems the longer you stay in the more you get acclimated to this level of difference between yourself and the world around you. At first your mind is a whirl of learning acronyms, figuring out how to sign up for Tricare (our medical insurance), learning the beauty of a power of attorney and basking in the new-found beauty found in your role as a Navy wife. Most people have some idea in their head pre-marriage of what that is going to look like and most often it's wrong. Sometimes you just can't know it until you do it.
Phil and I have been married for 5 years now. I have also spent 5 solid years as a Navy wife. We were engaged just short of 2 years before getting married, so altogether I've had 7 years now getting used to this whole Navy thing. At first it all seemed so romantic. Yes, he'll be gone, but you'll get to have those great kiss reunion scenes right?? Everything is way more interesting then it is frustrating. You join Navy wife online communities full of lots of other young Navy wives who are pretty new at this yet think they've got it all figured out. Time passes and things change.
I've gotten over the crying during patriotic songs and given up altogether trying to understand why the Navy does what it does. I wouldn't call it cynical so much as experienced. I think I've kinda gotten this thing a little more under control. But not really.*
Phil has new orders now. He's going to be a part of the Riverines. What is that? Most people have never even heard of it! If you refer to their presence in Vietnam, people old enough during that time might remember seeing something like that. Most people will have no clue at all. There is no exception here for military spouses. Most wives have probably not heard about the Riverines at all. So guess what? I just started getting a feeling of normalcy back to this whole military life thing, and now I'm weird again. I'm sorry there's not much we've shared about what Phil will be doing when he gets to Virginia. It's all very touchy for me not knowing what all is okay to share openly. (Here's one new page I found interesting, though.)
To get the my whole main point with writing this post. I have finally gotten to reconnect with some of our close friends from Italy who are now also in Virginia. It was such a huge relief to find out that her husband has a job much like Phil will. Now hopefully I wont' feel so alone having someone to be a weird Navy wife with.
*This is a reference to the Giving Tree which is one of Joshua's favorite books of all time so far.