I grew up in a tiny little town in Virginia that probably wouldn't be considered tiny anymore, yet is still small enough that my oldest daughter had my 1st grade teacher as her 1st grade teacher, and that I taught 8th grade English there with my 8th grade English teacher. In my opinion, this makes it small enough. I loved growing up in small town, surrounded by history and people I had know my entire life. And then I married a military man and moved far, far away and I thought all of that would change--that my own kids would never have that sense of "home" that I have now come to cherish. It's so true. Ask any military kid where they are from and they'll do one of three things:
*They'll tell you where they were born (Trey does this. He says he is from Texas--a state that he was born in and actually lived in for exactly 3 1/2 months before we moved to Virginia, and he spent almost the entire time in the NICU. And I cannot tell you how many kids I've taught over the years who say they are from Germany)
*They'll tell you where their parents are from, even if they've never lived there themselves (Tory does this. She frequently tells people she is from Virginia, or sometimes Alabama)
*They'll tell you where they moved from last (Jackson does this. He's from Ft. Campbell, by the way--a place that is super confusing since it actually straddles the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. We lived on the Tennessee side, by the way)
I frequently wonder if Delilah will say she's from Italy, since it's where she's lived for the greatest amount of time. Even now, when we ask her if she's an American or if she's Italian, she always says she's Italian. I blame that on the gelato. And the pizza.
But here's what I've come to realize over 20 years as a military spouse: Home really is where you make it. It doesn't mater in what city, state, or even country that happens to be in. And you build your own history with your military family that you're lucky to know and call your friends. They become your family and in a sense, your history. I'm so thankful to have this opportunity.