Friday, July 6, 2012

Naval Wifery Part 2: Life in Limbo

So, at the beginning of June, my stellar husband, K, was selected as a department head in his aviation community!  This was fantastic news.  This means that he will join a squadron for another 2 ½ -year sea tour sometime in the next year or so.  He’ll be one of five or six department heads there leading a number of junior officers and enlisted sailors in various assignments.  This is a very big milestone for him because it opens some new doors as we continue on through the next ten years of our navy life.  But before we get there, we need to get to a squadron.  The question is: which one??  There are ten squadrons; five in Norfolk, Virginia, one in Atsugi, Japan, and four right here in California, where we live now.  We requested to stay put here in sunny SoCal.  I mean… can you blame us?  Oh, the joy!  Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to actually stay in one location for more that two or three years?  I’m sure it’s the dream of every Navy family, right?  We’ve moved three times in the last eight years, which actually isn’t too bad, but if we can cut out one move, all the better for everyone.

But there is never guarantee that we’ll get our first choice.  The needs of the Navy always come first.  This is the first time in K’s Navy career that we have not chosen our next location ourselves. It is completely out of our hands.  We chose Japan for his first tour, we chose Norfolk for his second, and we chose 72F and sunny California for his third tour.  Now for tour number four… let the life in limbo begin!  Here we are just waiting…  and waiting… and waiting for our destiny (more like destination) to be revealed!  ‘Tis a strange place for us. 

Once the operational department heads are selected, the powers that be have to place every one of them in a squadron.   The document that will be published with this information is called the slate.  It’s like a giant puzzle, taking into consideration so many different variables... requests for certain people by a skipper, one squadron needs a pilot while another needs an NFO (Naval Flight Officer, aka: not a pilot, but the highly skilled operators in the rear of the plane), timing for others exiting the squadron, and the list goes on.  It is a hard job, I’m sure, and we’ve been told it takes about a month from the screen board results (the announcement that he was selected) for them to finish the slate.  Well… this week marks the month-a-versary… and it was rumored that it’s going to be another month until the slate is ready to be disclosed.  Yep.  That’s right.  This puzzle must be over 1000 pieces… in the itty-bitty size.

All we want to know is… are we moving or not?  It’s July people.  If we are moving in August, I have a crap-ton of things to do to get ready… because we’re either going cross-country or overseas.  I’m not as concerned about going to the east coast.  That’s easy.  But dude.  What if we do get Japan?  That means selling a car.  Down-sizing furniture. What if we do decide to have a fourth kid? Lugging all that baby gear and NINE 20-gallon storage bins of girl clothes and FIVE bins of boy clothes across the Pacific!  (When we’re done, we are having an unbelievable sale!  My sisters better be ready to bid on their favorite baby items!)  What about getting C into pre-school in the fall in Virginia?  I’m sure there are only waiting list spots available.  These are the things military wives think about… or at least I do. 

K is decidedly certain we’re staying here.  I don’t know how he knows this, but he just thinks it’s so.  He claims that it makes sense for the Navy to save a buck by NOT moving us.  It’s expensive to move a family of five!  And Lord knows, this country can afford to save a few bucks.  I mean, someone has to go to Japan, that’s a given, but if we’re already here and want to stay… well, please? Can we? Can we?  There was also a comment made by someone at the bureau that they have a specific plan for K… well, of course, that gets my thinker/planner husband’s brain going into all the possible scenarios that could be “specific!”  Makes the wait even more unbearable… whetting the appetite with vague notions of specificity is not fair.  Who knows...  Might not be all that special or specific after the big reveal, but it still gets us even more anxious to know!  No matter the plan, K could handle anything they throw at him.  He does everything with excellence, to the best of his ability, without shortcuts.  His moto (well, he has a few), is to “work smart, not hard”; although, he works hard too.  He’s always one to come into a situation and try to leave it better than he found it.  Make it more productive and efficient without reinventing the wheel.  He searches out people to help solve problems, give suggestions, and delegate, if he can.  Oh, sorry… I was going off on a tangent of praise of my hubby.  I’m not proud of him or anything.

So… when we know… I’ll let you all know.  These are the joys of Navy living.  Ultimately it will all work out.  It always does.  We'll just roll with it.  Here’s a “motto” that K and I share… it’s our family verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6