Here we go again. I wake up with that feeling of dread.
I don’t want to do this anymore.
Eight moves in less than twelve years of marriage. In the earlier years, I had believed it would become easier each time. And then each time, I somehow forget all over again about how incredibly difficult each PCS is. And that it’s only becoming harder.
So here we go again.
It hits me hard. The packers come in a few days, and I have so much to do to prepare. All the time we spent making this place our home, will soon change in a matter of a day.
The packers come through like a whirlwind. They wrap, stuff in boxes, tear down, and take away precious items with not a care about how each of them helped us form memories of our time here.
The little ones worry over their toys, and constantly question me to reaffirm that they will see their special treasures again. The littlest opens his favorite door in the kitchen, “There’s no food in the pantwee (pantry)?!” Then turns and opens another door, “There’s still food in the refwidawator (refrigerator).” He sighs, so confused.
A few days later, when the loaders carry away all the things that made this place our home, it is left as an empty structure.
I wonder what other military family might move in and love it as much as we did.
The children walk through their vacant bedrooms to offer a fond good-bye, but are reluctant to give them over to anyone else. “I don’t want to leave,” the girls cry.
Feeling the same, I squeeze them tight.
Then we push forward.
The worst part on this end is finally over. There’s not much left to do but sign off on the last bits of paperwork and responsibilities, and go around saying our see-ya-laters.
Here we go again.
Trying to hold back tears as we hug all the special people that became family, and drive out of town for the last time. It hurts the older children the worst.
The PCS meltdowns of anxiety and sadness overcome them, as we drive into the unknown. We couldn’t secure a new house ahead of time, so we are now, in a manner of words, homeless.
Our two-vehicle caravan transports boxes of our most prized possessions, suitcases filled with clothes for any kind of weather we may experience on the long journey, schoolbooks to pick at while bored in hotels, travel beds, sleeping bags, and other necessities.
And gifts! The children’s friends gave them thoughtful presents to remember them by, and activities to keep them busy during travel.
Here we go again. On the road again.
Days later, we reach our final destination and cram into a small hotel room for awhile. We continue the house hunt and drag the children through a vast, unknown area.
Nap schedules changed during travel, routines were kicked out of sync, hunger and potty breaks hit at strange times.
We begin a house walk-through and an epic meltdown descends. The youngest thought we arrived for a playdate when he saw the toys. The children are weary and confused.
The oldest fumes, “Daddy should retire after this PCS because I am not doing this anymore!”
Ugh! I feel awful.
Here we go again.
Checking out the new coffee shops and taking part in some exciting activities to detract from the unsettledness. But the kids resist even entering the van again. They frequently whine, “How far do we have to go today?”
We win them over with mini-golf and ice cream!
Still in the hotel. We keep adding days, and the front desk attendants are probably wondering if we’ll ever leave. We make friends with housekeeping and begin chatting up our situation.
They become much more accommodating, bringing us extra towels, and recommending a nearby park for the children.
Still house hunting. We tried so hard to prevent a temporary living situation, but it looks like we’ll be entering our third round. The housing market in these past three places has thrown us a curve ball.
We’ll now search for a temporary apartment until we can transfer into a home that will fit our family and our BAH.
Here we go again.
My husband is off to work. But the kids and I are restless. I contact leadership regarding our new homeschool program.
The kids and I are looking forward to connecting with other humans who will soon become our new friends, and who then always become family.
We will soon find a church family, and we will soon find all the extra-curricular activities that will once again make us feel we are finally home.
I trust, in time, everything will work itself out. It always does.
So, here we go again.
These are the hardest days of a PCS. But they are short-lived. This is part of our adventure, which is part of our life story.
We are all learning how to rise above challenges, and we have opportunities to experience things we might not in a different life.
Are you here in this moment too?
You’re not alone. Press on, my friend!
You’ll soon reach that final destination where you have been led to the absolutely perfect place.
And you will feel settled once again.
And you will be so happy!
Here we go again….we are now HOME!