One of Many Hats

It seems like we can’t enter a new month without having a bucket full of awareness being thrown our way. April is no stranger to this phenomenon – the list includes but is certainly not limited to Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, Mathematics Awareness Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and National Safe Digging Month. In addition, April is also considered the Month of the Military Child.

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Donuts for Dads Day at preschool last week.

Being the spectacular matriarch of our military family that I am, I had no idea that April was considered Month of the Military Child until some friends posted about it on Facebook. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg. It’s funny, I don’t think I have ever even referred to the little guy as a military child or a military brat. In my eyes, he is a just a regular kid with a dad who happens to be in the Army. Sure – he is currently living in his fifth house (not counting the months spent in temporary lodging), third state, and has developed an easy-going personality that lends itself well to the inevitable change that occurs with the lifestyle. And while he doesn’t remember the year that his dad missed due to deployment, there will be times in the future when he will. But at the end of the day, he is just a little boy who loves trucks, marshmallows, and having mommy and daddy read to him. His status of being a military child doesn’t define him – it just will simply continue to be one of the many hats he will wear throughout his childhood.

Yes, there are aspects of being a military child that are unique. And these circumstances should be recognized and handled with care. But there are a lot of parents out there with jobs that are dangerous and demand time away from home…military children are certainly not alone in that regard. I’ve stressed many times on this blog that we have chosen this lifestyle because at this moment, the benefits and opportunities outweigh the drawbacks. We currently enjoy the adventure and look forward to future assignments. But if we ever reach a point when we no longer feel this way, we will re-evaluate and make a decision accordingly. Our little family has and will always come first. And right now, the military happens to be the puzzle piece that fits. As far as the future? Only time will tell.

So here’s to the Month of the Military Child. If I weren’t knocked up with our second military child, I’d have a drink in honor of all the resilient children out there. On second thought – is that even appropriate?

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One thought on “One of Many Hats

  1. I never understood why the military child was called a military brat! The kids were usually more responsible and adaptable than your usual civilian student. Half their lives, they had only one parent since the military member was always on an unaccompanied tour, on bivwack, doing an inspection, training or drilling. They have to be adaptable to having Mom the boss, then switching to Dad the boss when he does come home. They change schools frequently meaning they had to find a new best friend with each move. My girls were in three different schools in one school year in different states. BUT the attitude of the child is that of the parent. If the parent makes each move an adventure and is positive – this will also reflect on the child. The greatest compliment was from the teacher at the end of the school year when said that Meg fit right in and she kept forgetting that Meg hadn’t been with her class for the whole year, (this was the 3rd school in the same school year).

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