Transition is defined as, "the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another". Currently, my entire family has started to go through a transition. For the last, six almost seven years, my family has been military centric. With my husband being an active duty soldier, our lives revolved around the army's schedule. Now, that he's being medically retired, our lives are transitioning to a more civilian centric way. For most, this would bring a giant sigh of relief. For our family, it's a bit different.
While it's great to be leaving the midnight calls, the long periods of parenting without backup, and being far away from family for extended periods of time, it's hard to be leaving that stability and routine. Routine has ruled our lives and we've become accustomed to being a part of that routine. Disrupting that routine is particularly hard for our autistic son who needs routine to feel secure in his day to day life.
Transitioning, while great, has allowed us to see what specific parts of our routine affect our son the most. He's gotten used to his school, his various teachers and having his same friends nearby. He knows the apartment we live in as home. Moving for him is a much larger deal for him than it is for us. We've had to take a step back and readjust more times than I can count to help him better understand what the change means for him.
We've talked about how the transition means that he gets to spend more time with his dad. His dad will work a set schedule now. It won't be all hours of the day and night. We talked about how his dad will be able to get him ready for school more often. We also talked about how he'd be starting at a new school, a school that could have some pretty cool new friends. We talked about how he'll still have nice teachers that help him to work through his feelings and problems while at school.
We also talked about how more family will be around and how he'll get to visit family. We talked about how he'll have more space to run around outside once we have our own house. We talked about him having his own room that he could decorate however he wants. We talked about everything, until he understood what moving meant and how we'll help him the whole time.
So far, he seems to be warming up to the idea. He even seems a bit excited to move now. He's even started to help pack up some things.
Moving forward, i'm sure we'll have to adjust again.
While the rest of us don't have the same issues with adjusting that my son does, we are realizing that this is going to be a very big adjustment. Since I was in my second trimester with my daughter, I haven't been back to work. I've stayed home with both of the kids and taken care of nearly everything with them. Moving forward, I'll be going back into the workforce. I'll be the one who's away from home more often while my husband takes on his college degree.
My daughter is now over a year old and has only been away from me for short bursts of time. I'm not sure how she'll handle the adjustment to me being gone most of the day.
My husband also has to adjust to not working all of the time and not being on call for some sort of duty at any given time. For the first time in nearly seven years, he isn't expected to report to someone at a specific time daily. He won't be expected to be on duty on weekends. He won't have to pull 24 hour shifts or go to training exercises that last a month or longer. For the first time in years, we can plan family time on weekends and even visit family on a whim.
Honestly, transitioning is a little terrifying but it's also liberating. Continuing to talk about it has helped to tackle the scary parts. Civilian life provides a lot of opportunities for us that we previously had to put on hold. We can buy a house, my husband can go to school, our son can be stable in a school environment, and we can finally catch out breath. I'm sure there's going to be more trials to come in the next little while as we move forward. But overall, the opportunity to finally move on is more exciting and freeing than I can explain. Hears to moving forward!