When is it Home?

Growing up in the military, spending 20 years in the military, and currently being the spouse of military member makes it hard to have roots. Home was always where we were at the moment. When I was in the military home was either Salt Lake City or Lansing. I've never lived in either of those places - that's where my parents had settled down so 'home' was where they were. Ask any adult military brat where they are from and they will say "I'm a military brat." or in my case I say "I'm a Navy brat." We are rootless nomads.

Since both my parents are gone, home is neither of those places anymore. Home is here - where I live. Not that it hasn't always been that way. I just had some nether world I could call home, while we were in our temporary place. Until the military moved us again.

Now we've lived here, in South Carolina, for over six years. In the same house. At the same exact place. How does that happen? How do you stay in one place for so long? I'm not sure how. I've heard that this base is a black hole - people come here and end up never leaving. I've heard that about a lot of bases though - and we left those - so who knows?

When we are out on our travels if someone asks my son where he's from he'll say "South Carolina" if we're out of state and "Sumter" if we are in state. This is his home, his roots, the place he's lived for over half his life. He's never going to say "I'm a military brat." He remembers nothing about North Carolina, some things about living in Washington, but mostly, this is it for him.

As my husband looks ahead to retirement it's time to think about roots. Our roots. Will we stay here, the only place my son considers home? The place where his pediatrician really knows him? Where my doctor really knows me? We've been lucky enough to see the same doctors for over four years. Is that what makes roots? Are we growing here or are we going to plant ourselves in another place?


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