My husband is currently asleep on the floor, curled up and softly snoring with a king sized fleece blanket. Our son is crawling around looking for anything and everything he can get his chunky little hands on without me (hopefully) noticing…. I envy them, they’ve just transitioned so easily! Like it was nothing, slipping back into an old well worn pair of sneakers.
Me and the dog however are clearly the odd men out. She paces and checks the patio and bedrooms and peeks out the windows whenever she thinks we aren’t looking. I’m constantly looking for things that we don’t have. The movers should arrive hopefully sometime tomorrow after nearly a month, not that that is a problem. When we first moved in together we had next to nothing, we were sleeping on a futon which we still own! I would say we fall into the minimalist category. Like that first apartment we have more space than we know what to do with, a large part of me wants to fill it up with a bunch of stuff we don’t need but the nagging part of my brain reminds me that the next moving process will be ten times easier if we don’t have a bunch of useless junk to haul.
The PCSing process is no joke, the amount of research and how to videos that I binged well into the night could not have prepared me for any of the actual process. We all want things to happen a certain way and obviously that just isn’t going to happen, no matter how much you stress and pour over and plan it just isn’t going to happen, something will more than likely derail you. I tried reaching out to women who had done the move a thousand times themselves but was either met with radio silence or “there are no words to describe it.” And I guess that’s somewhat true.
My husband went away for BLC and directly following that he was sent to MEPS and then re-classed and shipped to Fort Benning, GA. What started out as a potential month long stay (And BLC does vary from person to person) turned into 3 months and then ended up being 5 months. I tried to handle it as gracefully as possible, I also understood that in the long run 5 months isn’t that long compared to others. (I know it isn’t wise to compare your life to others but in my truly darkest down in the gutter moments it was the only way to stop myself from throwing a pity party)
At the time of his departure we had a 4 month old son who has been a complete and utter gem about the entire situation, while I stressed about finances and getting the house in tip top shape to move and soothing my families fears that we would of course stay in touch and be back for visits he was being an angel. He hardly ever cried, always offered smiles and was quick to sooth, while his dad had fears he would forget who he was (and maybe for a small time he did) any time we got to have a video or phone call our son would light up at the sound of his voice or beam and give a toothless smile when met with his dads face.
Maybe that doesn’t seem like much, but to us he was the glue that held it all together and made those months fly by. I was however worried about how hard the moving process was going to be on him and we flip-flopped back and forth a lot about how we were going to travel to our new home. A plane ride did seem ideal but we also had to keep in mind that we have a 82lb dog who might not handle the trip and that that could potentially end in disaster and Elsa is 100% my baby just like our son.
So why not driving? well the drive was going to be around 16 hours and that didn’t seem ideal or fair to our son, the dog loved being in the car and went with us wherever we went, Elsa sits right next to her little brother any chance she gets and will frequently fall asleep with her head in his lap. But I wasn’t sure how well our son would handle the car trip
Well the solution was less than ideal but we managed, I left Elsa behind with my sister and her fiance, it was just for three days but if I am being perfectly honest (sorry mom and dad) that was the hardest part about leaving our former home. I was terrified something was going to happen to her and worse yet our son seemed to be looking for her and confused by his new surroundings when we finally touched down and got to our new house. I was overwhelmed and despite how happy I was to have my husband back and watch him interact with our son the family seemed very incomplete without Elsa.
Instead of waiting an extra day and catching up on much needed rest I pitched the idea of going the very next day. (after leaving at 2AM and having two pretty calm but slightly delayed flights) My husband agreed, I don’t know if he sensed my anxiety or if he just really wanted to meet the new member of the family, either way I was very thankful he was so agreeable to packing up the very next day and hitting the road.
Six hours into the trip and we stopped at his sisters house, the original plan was to spend two days there but we only ended up spending one and a half and left at 2AM again. Our son was once again an utter gem on this trip and mostly slept, whenever we stopped he was happy to just be with us and to take in his surroundings. It was surreal to be on such a trip, before my husband went active we didn’t take trips like that, it was strange driving from state to state and seeing how different it was compared to what we considered the norm. As silly as it sounds I never left my home state until 2016, and only lived in KY for 2 years. On the drive down to KY I was just so anxious to get there and get settled I hadn’t really noticed what was going on around me.
But I’m rambling!
We finally made it back to KY and I was so overjoyed. I finally felt like my family was together and I could relax. we were exhausted, our son was thrilled to be back with his aunt and uncle and that joy hit an ultimate high when my mother and little brother stopped by to say a finale farewell. We were looking forward to getting some much needed rest and were discussing pushing our departure time back a few hours when our luck ran out.
Our son didn’t want to sleep, not there, not while I held him, not while I walked the floor with him. Or when I rested him on my chest, he wasn’t having it, I knew it was because he was used to the lull of the car and the music playing and me and his dad talking, just us.
Not that my sister and fiance did anything wrong, not that their home wasn’t quiet or even because it would have been the first time he slept there, he’d stayed there a few times prior with no issues. It was just that he wanted to sleep in the car. I felt guilt for not being better prepared and I worried what would happen when we finally got back home, would it be a nightmare to get him to transition to sleeping in his own bed again? So while me and my husband took naps, my sister and her fiance watched the baby and dog and when we woke up we hit the road….. AGAIN. (I cannot thank them enough for everything they did for us we owe them the world)
As overjoyed as we were to be on our way home again and to stay there this time, we were still bone tired and didn’t know if we were going to have to stop off at a hotel or not. Truthfully we didn’t want to, there were far and few hotels that were pet friendly and the feeling of having to wake up and get back on the road filled us both with a loathing for travel.
so we switched, every two hundred miles or so we would switch off and while one drove the other slept, our son slept all night. Thankfully the dogs bathroom breaks lined up perfectly with gas station and food stops. When the sun finally started peeking up and we were two or so hours away he woke up. Had his breakfast and happily kept babbling to me until we FINALLY made it.
I’ve never been so happy in my life to be done with a process in my life. It isn’t that PCSing is the worst thing in the world but it isn’t easy. And I understand that everyone’s experience differs and I wouldn’t change the first one for the world. I understand it could have been a lot harder and I understand how lucky and fortunate we were to have so many stops along the way and people to help us.
The army life is a scary thing and there is so much I have left to learn, the internet can only do so much and finally being on base surrounded by people who made the same journey puts me semi at ease. The only thing I want now is my stuff….and maybe some more sangria.
If you made it this far…wow and thank you! I hope it wasn’t too boring (figured I probably should cut it down as much as possible) and I hope you come back when I post next! Sorry if my blog looks a little funny, this is new for me and I am still learning, still reading up on things and I will make this a better and more organized space for whoever you are!