Written by: Codi B.
If you close your eyes and picture a Military Child, what do you see? I’m guessing you picture Military Children as any other child which is perfectly true, but when I close my eyes and picture these children, a different picture comes to my mind. One the includes an attitude of resilience, adaptability, maturity, go with the flow attitude, bravery, courage, strong, and a warrior in their own right. These children are wise beyond their years and learn how to accept change from a very early age. These kids know what goodbyes sound like. They know homecomings as well. They know so much, and they are ready at the blink of your eyes to move, grow, and change when they are asked to.
Military children do not quit. They keep going. They keep getting stronger. They put roots down in every single city they move to; whether those moves are once every 4-6 years, or every two years, or sometimes every single year. These children know that home is where their hearts are and where their Mom and Dad are; home isn’t a place to them, it’s a feeling and they know that feeling all too well.
How do I know all of this? Well, I’m currently staring at two little Military Children who I get to raise in this crazy life we live. My husband, their Dad, is serving in the United States Air Force and these little girls will probably never know a life outside of the military for many, many years.
I, on the other hand, well I know life to be just a little different from the life my daughters live.
I was born in Nebraska. My hometown is where all my family basically still lives along with a few great friends. My elementary school, middle school, and high school are all in the same city and I’m pretty sure my pediatric doctor still is working there to this day. My Mom still lives in the same house I grew up in. I can close my eyes and picture exactly how to get there and other places in my head because that city is all I knew for the first 20 years of my life.
I never moved.
I never said goodbye to friends.
I always knew what was coming next.
Everything in my childhood was pretty predictable and change always scared me just a little bit.
Fast forward to today. I’ve moved more in the last five years since my husband and I got married than I ever imagined I would in my whole life. I didn’t know what to think when we PCS’d for the first time. I was a mess. Our second PCS our oldest daughter was 17 months and I was very, very pregnant with our youngest daughter. Things were easier that time around. My oldest daughter, although she was young taught me so much in those three weeks we moved from the West Coast to the South then I ever could have learned on my own.
She was strong. She was brave. She adapted so quickly. She knew where ever me and her Dad were, she was home. She was resilient. She was courageous. She was a warrior.
Since moving to a whole different city, my Military Children have established roots in a place they probably will never live or call home again after we PCS. They are growing up and changing in this city in a way they never will again. They are learning new things here. They are experiencing a different culture here which more then likely will be so different then the next place we live. They are surviving and thriving in this season of their lives. They are being typical normal children with a totally less than normal childhood.
Both of my Military Children were born in different states. They don’t even realize right now that they have different birth certificates and they were born at different hospitals approximately 1,300 or so miles apart. If and when we have another child, that child will more then likely be born in a different state, maybe even country, with a different birth certificate than their older sisters. The joys of being a Military Child, right?
That’s the amazing thing about these children; they are so much more than I could have ever imagined. Every single Military Child I’ve met has this amazing ability to be at home where ever they are; to see the joy in an otherwise bleak situation; to plant roots all over the country and the world. They fly where the wind takes them and they are dang proud of the country their parent serves. They have friends who they call family in every corner of this world. Their emergency contact on their school forms are probably not a grandparent or an aunt, but rather their parents friend who has become a family member in their own right. Birthday parties are usually not spent with blood family, but rather a family they have created around them at the specific place they are stationed at. Holidays are spent with those same people, and on the off chance there is ever an emergency, those people come running with no questions asked and are there through it all (if you’re reading this, you know you are and we love and appreciate you more than you will ever know)!
Military children have been compared to dandelions many times. These flowers can grow in almost any climate. Their roots run deep in this earth and they are very hard to destroy. If you blow a dandelion the little seeds are sure to fly with the wind and plant in far away places to call home. It’s a very hardy plant. It’s a resilient plant, much like Military Children. Dandelions are tough and rough, just like the children that are said to be like this plant. The beauty isn’t always seen from the outside, but on the inside the plant, and the Military Children are full of so much perseverance, strength, love, and courage. Military children are full of patriotism, hard work, and sense of pride and love for a country they too are serving.
Military Children are so much more than I could ever put into words.
These people are growing up in a time and place where war is always at their back door step. They know goodbyes all too well. They’ve said goodbye to their parent or parents probably more times then they can remember. And yet, the military is still part of this strong backbone all these children have. The goodbye’s haven’t destroyed them by any means, but have been something they’ve learned to deal with. Because saying goodbye is always so hard, but saying hello again is always so much better.
Military Children are so much. They are resilient. They adapt to everything. They are mature and wise beyond their years. They have to go with the flow and learn to semi accept and like whatever situation they are in. They are so brave. They are so strong. They plant roots where ever the wind blows them. They know home is not a place but a feeling. They are warriors. Military Children are part of the future of this amazing country and serve right along with their parent who serves and their family.
Hug a Military Child today if you know one. Tell them you care and know that these children are tough and are representing such a small part of this country, but such a proud part as well. Military Children are aware of so much around them, but telling them you are proud of them means so much.
To my two military children, my nieces, and all the military children we are around every single day; you guys are my heroes. You teach me so much about this life and how to adapt as an adult to this military lifestyle. I’m taking a page out of your book and learning to embrace the change and embrace new beginnings. Because of all the amazing military children I’ve been around, I know how such a better understanding of how to be a military wife.
We can all be like dandelions and military children in our own right; ready to fly where the wind takes us and ready to plant roots where ever the military sends us to call home. Be brave. Be strong. Be courageous. Be a warrior. Be resilient.
You military children are amazing!
**Daddy Dolls is an amazing company that creates the doll the girls have next to them in the last picture. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these special dolls head over to www.daddydolls.com and use code ‘CODI’ to get 15% off your purchase!**