25 April 2011

Month of the Military Child

Some of you may or may not know that April is Month of the Military Child.  Consequently, it is also Sports Eye Safety Month, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month and STD Awareness Month, but I think I'll let someone else blog about those happy topics.  I'm here to blog about what I know and love... military children.

I like to think I am somewhat of a subject matter expert on these particular little members of society.  I have spent countless hours volunteering in their schools.  I have babysat multitudes of them on a regular basis.  I have cared for them during the happiest of moments and have held their hands during the darkest times of their lives.  Oh, and I just so happened to have given birth to two of the cutest military kids you'll ever meet.  This post is for them.

The best way to exemplify how special these kids are is to give you a recent list of statements/questions overheard at our house in the last few months.

"Are we moving today, too?"
"Is Daddy coming home tonight?"
"Is Uncle Sean in Iraq or Afghanistan?"
"When we move, will our new house be one-story, or two?"
"Where will we be living when I turn 10?"
"Why does my friend's dad have a cane?"
"Why do you drink coffee every morning?"

Ok, that last one isn't specific to military children, but you get the idea.  I field a lot of questions from my kids on a daily basis.  A LOT (I'm looking at you, Aunt Carrot).  Lately, I've had to pause before answering some of them.  The absurdity of the questions coming out of their tiny mouths overtakes my emotions.  It is simply not normal for a five-year-old boy to wonder if his daddy will be home every night.  How sad is it that a nine-year-old girl must accept the fact that she will move every two or three years?  Or that her uncle will be gone for a year and that countries named Iraq and Afghanistan are a frequent part of her vocabulary?

But I can't let myself go there.  The kids don't go there, so why should I?  The kids don't know any different.  They've grown up knowing their dad will be home sometimes and sometimes he won't.  They know their friends will move just like they will move.  And they know there will be new friends awaiting them at their new school and in their new neighborhood.  The kids also know that their uncle is gone, but that it's ok. Their cousins will be fine, just like they are fine.

Military children are lots of things.  They are resilient.  They are flexible.  They make friends easily.  They're responsible.  They recognize the importance of selfless service.  They have what it takes to succeed in any situation.  In short, they are my heroes.  So, this month I've made a point to ask THEM some questions.  It looks like they just might have all of the answers.


Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie said...

I agree that you have astounding military children in your household, but I'm willing to give their mama most of the credit for their resilience, flexibility and social skills.

Pursuant to Section I-A of the Big Sister Contract, I am prohibited from giving my brother any credit. Plus, of course, there's the reality of who spends all her time with these amazing short people. ;)

(<3 the shout out. A lot. )

Dana said...

I love my military grandchildren. All four of them. They have learned alot of hard lessons in a very short period of time. Some days, I cry because they have had to endure things that no child should have to endure in their short lives, but because they all have the parents they have, I know they will be stronger and wiser as adults than many children who have not had to ask the questions your children have had to ask. Thanks for being the parents you are.

aunt Barb said...

Once again Amy, your comments are right on target. But I also have to agree with Binnie that they are all the things you say because of the parents they have. They learn a lot by example and you two(and Sarah and Sean) are wonderful examples of all that they are learning! I admire you all and love you more than I can say!