Waiting for a Pineapple Assignment

pineapple on beach
Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

Everyone has a “dream base”. That one base that seems so unrealistic actually to get, but it is everything you want. For us it was Hawaii.

pineapple on the beachOf course, my husband’s career field gave us about a .001% chance of getting the assignment, but that didn’t stop us from dreaming.

When we got married in 2006, I told my husband that if he ever found out he got Hawaii, I wanted him to walk in the house with a pineapple in his hand and not say one word.

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve last year, and we were in full-on wait mode, which meant that I was in full-on obsessive mode. I was three months pregnant with our fourth, so I felt the first-trimester exhaustion in every cell of my body. We were getting ready to put the house on the market to sell in time before PCS, but not so early that we would be homeless. Our six-year-old daughter had appointments after appointments as we prepared for a life-altering surgery scheduled two months later.

And we didn’t know where the military was sending us next. And I had zero patience.

My husband insisted that we go out to dinner to celebrate New Year’s Eve because it was also his birthday. I didn’t particularly feel like celebrating, but I always felt like eating (who can relate?). We booked a 5:00 reservation at a steakhouse so we could make it home early; plenty of time for our babysitter to head out to the party she was dying to get to after scoring some cash from us. Just a nice, peaceful dinner without kids to debate for the 10000000th time where the Air Force might send us.

As we walked in, I tried not to fall on my pregnant face as I teetered across the shiny tile floor in my stupidly high, non-pregnancy approved heels. We made it to the table, and as I took off my coat and plopped into my seat. I couldn’t figure out why my husband was weirdly staring at me, and then he glanced down at the table.

Surprise about a pineappleThere it was.

There in the middle of the table was the most beautiful pineapple I had ever seen.

I burst into tears…not glistening tears of happiness, but big, heaving pregnant girl sobs. When the waitress came over, I choked out, “It is his birthday, and I am having a baby, and we are moving to Hawaii!!!”

Fast forward to today, and although we’re staying at home like the rest of the world, my phone just dinged with a funny meme that my neighbor knew would make me laugh. While the kiddos can’t be at school right now, the outpouring of love and support from the teachers and friends who have grown to love these past few months has been amazing, and my daughter’s medical team is everything we hoped for to follow up on her care post-surgery.

Everyone has an opinion on “good” vs “bad” assignments.

There are a million reasons why some will love a place, while it might be torture for someone else.  We have loved things about bases that were low on our dream list. We hated some things that were at bases where we were happy to be stationed. It is all part of the crazy PCS adventure.

And for those of you in “wait mode” right now, especially in the midst of everything happening in the world – I hope you get your pineapple, wherever that might be.