When I asked my kids out of the blue one day what they think people should know about being a military kid I had an idea of what they might say. What they ended up saying surprised me and put a little smile on my face. Granted my little goobers might not be an acceptable survey pool, considering the number of military kids there are in the world; but I was pleasantly surprised at their responses. If I sat and thought about it though I should be. Military kids are ridiculously resilient, able to pack a box and leap tall buildings in one single step. Okay, maybe they can’t leap tall buildings in real life but the hurdles they jump with surprising ease surprise me every day. So, here is what my three military kids want you to know about being them.
- Its really hard sometimes – Deployments, long hours, and for us – frequently monthly travel as well – mean that I am often the only parent they have. Some weekends I want to just sit down and cry because I have to figure out a way to be in four places at one time. I know that sometimes the kids bare the brunt of this.
- You get to meet new people alot!! – Only one negative and they already jumped in with a positive! They started rattling off all the people they get to meet, from Daddy’s military friends, new school friends, new church friends and even the First Lady.
- You get to see alot of places – Inside my mama heart was literally growing three sizes. My kids have been to a bunch of places, either because we lived there or we drove through and visited on a PCS adventure. I always hoped those would be exciting things for them and that they would remember them as such. So far, it seems as though they have.
- You have a dad you can brag about – this came from my 11 year old, who has for a good majority of his little life planned on following in his Dad’s footsteps. He’s me in a tiny boy package. He embraces all that military life is. Wants to watch the movies, wear the sweatshirts and loves to talk about all the cool parts of his life and what his Dad is all about. For the record, my daughter jumped in and said “Or mom too!!!” I gave myself a little pat on the back for that.
- Finally….my little guy jumped in. And in all his six year old seriousness he said, “You get to have lunch with your dad in his outfit (aka – Uniform). It’s all about perspective and priorities people
When people ask me about the military life I know that I would immediately be thinking of all the downsides, or struggles. I’d be quickly going through the list of things that I’m advocating for or things that I’d like to see changed. In my adultness I’m missing the good things. This is true I think no matter what your life is, military or not. And I was so incredibly proud of my kids, and frankly myself. Having shown them not so great sides of me, especially when dealing with the hard stuff of military life, I know I must be doing something right. Together my husband and I have helped them see the fun parts of military life, how to look on the bright side of things. As far as I’m concerned my kids are rock stars and I’m so proud to be their mama.