Chameleon

Chameleons.

That’s how we’re described.

Easily adaptable to new surroundings, learning and re-learning constantly.

Military children.

Mothers and fathers defending our nation against unknown enemies.

They go where they are needed. We follow them without fear, without knowing any other way, without argument.

It’s a way of life of us.

I was lucky.

The luckiest of the five, by the time I was old enough to be able to comprehend the drastic changes the military life brings, my dad was a “higher up,” sought after by his “higher ups.” Always wanted, always needed.

I remember, barely, moving to Hawaii at the tender age of five. Meeting my first best friend at the park across the street from our new house on that first day. Being her best friend for the three years we lived there.

I remember, more clearly, at age eight, calling her at the airport a few hours before our plane was taking off for California where we would begin the road trip to Virginia. It was a Saturday night, she and another friend were watching SNICK; “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” to be exact. Later, when the plane took off and I watched the island disappear beneath us, I sobbed.

I went from just being another girl to the girl with the unpronounceable name in the blink of an eye.

Virginia was where my dad was needed, and so in Virginia he stayed.

But military life goes on. My friends moved in and out of my life, following their parents, doing what they needed. We all adapted, changing easily. Chameleons.

The house I knew as home is no longer there, torn down months after we finally left. The home every one of my siblings lived in at one point or another. The home many nieces and nephews knew as home as well. The home that I loved many cats and kittens and held funerals for the deceased, and where the two dogs I grew up with died.

The walls of the home carried thousands of memories. Memories of sneaking in and out at midnight during warm summer nights, memories of my “first”. Memories of so much hurt and pain, and moments of laughter that cameras couldn’t capture. So many memories.

The warmth of the summer sun beating down on the green grass. The smell of the Potomac River at low tide. The view of the white snow blanketing the yard in the winter. The hickory taste of fire that was the fall. So much of who I am came to be in that house.

In a front corner of the home my parents now own, the only home they’ve ever owned, laying on the floor is a brick. A lone brick that was collected from the ruble when we went to visit the dust of the home that once was. I often wish to take the brick with me every time I leave, wanting badly to place it somewhere in my own home for comfort, for reminders. To feel the warmth of the sun and the smell of the low tide. To remember the white snow and the fire-y taste.

Memories are carried in that brick. Memories that cannot be replaced, cannot be put into another home. We carried it with us.

I continue to adapt. To learn and re-learn.

A chameleon.

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2 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Puasaurusrex, Puasaurusrex. Puasaurusrex said: Chameleon http://wp.me/pUtP6-oS […]

  2. Being a chameleon is a rockin’ life skill.

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