April is the Month of the Military Child. Since we are a retired Army family and I have two military children, I thought I should write about this topic. I started a post. I added pictures. I wrote. I erased. I cut and pasted. I had notes scribbled on my calendar and in my notebook. It wasn't quite right.
I received this text from a 17 year old senior while we were driving to Pennsylvania two weeks ago.
This is what being a military child is about. It means having people in your lives who aren't family but become like family given our unique circumstances.
We have known this young lady her entire life. We have had the privilege of watching her grow up. My husband and I became friends with her parents (her dad was a soldier) 5 years before she was born. We had been stationed in Texas and North Carolina together. At the time they were expecting, they lived in Alaska and we were in Germany. We received a letter from her mom telling us she was expecting. I remember the day we received it in the mail.
From Germany and Alaska, our families reunited in Alabama. In the meantime, J had joined our family. Their family had added a second daughter. The three kids spent a lot of time together playing, fighting, tattling on each other.
This family was there to help us when S came home from Bulgaria. Now, there were 4 kids together. Their girls and our boys match up in age. There was a lot of laughter when we were all together.
They left Alabama and went to Alaska. We left Alabama and went to California. They came to see us in California when they moved from Alaska to Tennessee. The kids picked up like they had just seen each other. We left California and went to Virginia.
Their family added a third daughter. We did not add a third son. We went to visit them in Tennessee. Again, the kids had a great time. They then moved to Delaware, so they were even closer. We met up in Washington DC and had a long weekend sightseeing. We would go to Delaware. They came to Virginia.
They added a son to their family. We still just have two.
Our friends divorced. The mom and the four kids went to California where she has family. It was difficult because I knew we wouldn't see each other as often. We called. We emailed. We were on Facebook.
But because we have these Army bonds,
my friend started dating another soldier we knew. The rest is history! They are now happily married. They have melded their families. And they live in South Carolina! We still get to see them and hang out. Sometimes it is just for lunch as the kids are being taken/picked up to see their father since their meeting point is 75 minutes from our house. Sometimes we get to have long weekends at each other's homes.
our oldest kids are graduating. This young lady texted my husband and told him that she needs her peeps there to celebrate.
Her peeps will be going to South Carolina to celebrate with her. She didn't know that we pulled out the ipad during our drive and made hotel reservations shortly after we had our texting conversation with her. My boys are as excited to go as we are.
Throughout the years,
our kids have shared stories about moves, various houses, friends left behind, visiting family far away, having family come to visit, telling their dads good bye when they left for months at a time, our times together in so many different states. In this month of the military child, this is what it is about.
I will be on the couch with chocolate thankful that we have such wonderful peeps in our lives!