Monday, October 1, 2012

2% + 10 Years

This past weekend we went up to Annapolis, Maryland for John's 10 year reunion at the Naval Academy.  We had an amazing time, drank way (way!) too much, and got to catch up with many close friends and familiar faces.

Annapolis is a place that both John and I feel completely at ease.  It is familiar, happy, and comfortable.  We can both sit on the concrete benches at Ego Alley and just stare happily into oblivion.  I remember sitting on those very benches 14 years ago when he was a Plebe (a freshman) and I as a high school senior visiting my handsome boyfriend.  I remember seeing him cross to the sidewalk in his whites and brand new Ray Ban sunglasses and swooning at the very sight of him.  We have a lot of memories there. 

I said goodbye to him there as he entered the Naval Academy on Induction Day 1998.  (which, by the way, for 17 year old me was one of the hardest things I have ever done).

John on Induction Day. 
I have a cute one of the two of us, but it was before the digital age and it is framed somewhere up in a box in our scary attic.  Maybe another time...

Was there to put on his officer bars when he graduated on May 24, 2002.

Right after placing his officer cover for the first time

We were married there on June 28, 2003.  One of the happiest days of our life.
"Welcome to the Navy!" (they should say "ready or not!!!")

It is just "our place".

Downtown Annapolis

At the Naval Academy, it is pretty rare for a high school girlfriend to still be a girlfriend (or fiance) by graduation 4 years later.  It actually has an official name - the 2% Club - which is the mythical number of mids who will still be with the significant other they were with on I Day at graduation day.  Shoot, it's even in the USNA Parent Handbook Glossary.  Happily, we were in that small group of people.  And it made this past weekend almost just as much a reunion for me as it was for Johnny.  I know his friends.  Not in the "hey, this is my wife Jill who you have met at a few football games" way.  But in the "remember the time we Jill snuck into Bancroft Hall and..." (shhhhhhh!).

We brought Kate and Connor to part of the reunion and about 10 minutes of the football game. 

Connor during the one moment he wasn't crying during the game

It was Connor's first game but it had already been a long day.  So after we knew things were spiraling downhill quickly, my (amazing) mother scooped up the kids and took them back to McLean for the night.  And there John and I were.  No kids, our friends, a beautiful Annapolis evening, and the knowledge that we could sleep in the next morning at our hotel.  A dangerous combination.

We drank at Ram's Head, stayed at the Loews (the hotel we stayed at on our wedding night), and had brunch the next morning on the dock at Pusser's.  Aside from the (slight) hangover for me, and brutal hangover for Johnny, I would say it was a picture perfect time. 

Who knows when we will all be together like this again.  It is what makes the Navy unique, wonderful, and torturous.  Our paths cross and then divert.  We live down the street, then around the world.  But for just 48 hours, most of us were in one place just to be together for a few hours.

Part of our group on the dock at Pusser's in Annapolis


Rich said...

Ahem....Jilly, as I remember when I saw you Sunday afternoon, I think Johnny was in MUCHHHH better shape than you :)

Thanks for coming by, and bringing the KIDDIES!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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