family unit

I was talking to my friend and neighbor, Mrs H, yesterday.  It’s wonderful when we get the chance to talk, as we have a myriad of things in common.

We were talking about 1st impressions.  Specifically, our first impressions of each other when we met just over a year and a half ago.

She was telling me about how she had never seen a family such as ours before.  (Isn’t that an odd comment?)  She followed that up by saying she had never in her life seen a family that actually looked and behaved as one single “unit”.  She’s never seen such a “tight-knittedness”.  (Isn’t that just a WONDERFUL compliment?)

Now, we are the first military family she’s really “known”.  Additionally, we live in a place where everyone’s family (seems to be) has been here forever.  She and her husband’s family are all here, so close, just a couple of streets over.  She hypothesized that maybe we were such a tight knit family because we were military and we could only ever count on each other to be there.  (Now, I would have never thought of this as a benefit of the military life; but now she has me rethinking it.)

Her family, and their proximity, frequently drive her nuts.  In fact, that is one of my first impressions of her.  Her mother had just been over and caused a raucus in her house, during the middle of school (as she homeschools as well), and then when everything was all good and wild, just left.  I met Mrs H out for a walk trying to gain her sanity back before going back home to attempt and bring order back to the chaos.

 It’s funny as I frequently look at “the other side of the fence” with envy, thinking how wonderful it would be to live close to family.

 Anyway, the compliment on how “unit-like” our family is, was even more poignant as, in my opinion, her family has really strong bonds to each other. . .


In the process of this conversation, moving from first impressions to family proximity, she asked if and how being away from family is difficult.  As I mentioned, Jay is prepping to deploy, so that is always in the forefront of my mind right now.  So, of course, that’s what I popped out with. 

It is hard to have “fall-backs” and “safety nets”, in the military.  Right now, I’m wrangling with finding a short-term caregiver, should something happen to me while Jay is away.  I need someone, for approximately 24 hours that can care for my 4 children till my parents can come up and take over.  Four children is no small task to take on; especially, when something has happened that causes a “crises” in their life.

She VOLUNTEERED!  (Did I mention, she has 6 kids, one an infant?)  I partly feel like a heel, as I was truly just talking, not asking.  However, truth be told, I would much prefer her over any others that could come to mind (er, that would be only one other, as I don’t know too many people).  I had actually decided to ask the other, as I figured it would be too much an imposition to ask Mrs H.  Yet, as she did volunteer. . .

Now, I just have to do all the paperwork regarding that and update my will.


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