The Life of A Military Child
April is the month of the military child. The children of those who have chosen to serve their country. The children of those who have given up their normal lives to protect the lives of others. The life of a military child can look very different from the life of a non-military child.
The life of a military child means a lot of wondering and a lot of waiting. When will daddy be home? When will they be able to talk to mommy again? For the younger child, not knowing when they will see or hear from one of their parents can be confusing.
The life of a military child means having to move too often. Having to start over. Having to say goodbye to friends and not knowing if they will ever see them again. Adults are able to connect with friends through the phone and social media. Kids might not be able to. Once they say goodbye to their friends, they might not ever talk about them again.
The life of a military child can mean disappointment.
Their mom or dad might have to miss that first day of kindergarten, a first communion, or high school graduation. And even if that child understands why their parent has to be away, they still wish they could be there on those special days.
The life of a military child means making memories without both of their parents. There will be times when they go see Grandma, or go camping, or even to Disneyland and mom or dad won’t be able to join them. That through the fun they are having, they are missing a big part of their family. And that isn’t always easy to do.
The life of a military child means being so very proud of what their mom or dad does for a living. It is beaming with pride when they see the flag. It means reading about what the military has done in the past and realizing that their parent is apart of what the military is doing in the future.
The life of a military child means going to five different schools all before 2nd grade.
It means not being sure about the rules at this school compared to the one they just moved from. It means having to be the new girl or the new boy, more than once.
The life of a military child means meeting people from all over the country and the world. It means making memories with these people, ones that will last forever. It means going off into the world and being able to share the stories of play dates in Germany, and first dates in Japan.
The life of a military child means growing up, watching one of your parents work hard to make life full for them and their siblings, even when it was hard to do so. It means, having patience and knowing that their parents did what they could to make this military life a little bit easier.
The life of a military child means learning how to be resilient through the challenges military life brings.
It means learning patience at an early age and figuring out how to make the best of a sad situation. To go with the flow, even when that is not what they want to be doing. To realize that there is so much more to this world and that giving back is such a good thing to do.
The life of a military child means saying goodbye, and saying hello again, with bright smiles on their face. It means feeling so excited that Dad is coming home that they can’t even sleep the night before and that this homecoming will feel better than Christmas.
The life of a military child means that in the future, they will know how to handle military life if they choose to join themselves. It means following in their parent’s footsteps who might have followed in their own parent’s footsteps too. It means understanding what you have to give up when you join the military and signing up anyway.
The life of a military child means that in the future when meeting new people, and the person they eventually marry, that they know what saying yes to a military service member will mean. It means knowing what a PCS is, or what it means to shop at the Commissary.
The life of a military child means that other children might not understand what their life is like.
It’s sharing with their civilian friends about their journey and what their childhood was like. It’s reaching out to others and showing them compassion when they are going through a difficult time since they have been through so many themselves.
The life of a military child is filled with the good and the bad. The hello, the goodbye. It means always learning, always meeting new people, always having to adjust.
The life of a military child means sleepless nights, so many tears, and wondering what will happen next. It also means knowing that they are apart of history and that what their parent do matters, oh it matters so very much.
The life of a military child should be celebrated as we do every April.
As military spouses, we are raising our own military children to the best of our abilities. We know that many parts of this military life are not easy for them, just like they are not easy for us. Yet, we do what we can to make sure they feel loved and can find the extra help they might need to get through.
We help them stay busy, we make plans, we take them on trips. We listen when they share how badly they miss their mom or dad. We hug them and let them know that we miss them too. Even if we are not sure that our words will help, we pray that they do.
How many military children are you raising? How old are they???