April – The Month of The Military Child Also Known as The “Military Brat”!
Military Brat – a term of endearment for the unique lifestyle that a military child lives. Having one or both parents who serve their country full time. Most of these children have no hometown, are on the go constantly, and have seen and been more places than your well-travelled adult. “The military child will say goodbye to more significant people by the age of 18 than the average adult person will in their lifetime” – unknown. Some of them have seen their parent(s) more on skype than they have in real person. This lifestyle is hard for most adults, I can’t imagine what these little military brats deal with on a regular basis. I salute you for your bravery and courage little ones! Although this life will make you as resilient as they come doesn’t ever mean it comes easy.
“I am a military brat, my home is nowhere and my friends are everywhere” -unknown
The military brat
I have three military brats myself. I often wonder if this life is doing more good or more harm to their little developing brains. I mean let’s be honest as a mom I want them to stay with me forever. But when you don’t even have a hometown where will everyone end up. This is one of my biggest most selfish fears. Here I have drug them all over the globe in their short little lives but I want them to stay close to home when they get older. The biggest problem is, where is home? I hope I’m not the only military spouse and mom out here worrying about this. I didn’t grow up in a military family or as a military brat so I have no clue how to relate to them sometimes. I know it’s hard as a spouse to have my husband deployed. I don’t know what it feels like to have daddy gone though. It’s one of those topics that when talked about or anytime there is the concern the global sugar coated answer is always… “this will make them so resilient, they will be able to do anything in their life.” Is that true or not, guess we will eventually find out. As their mom, I will always worry and hope that this crazy life will give them lifelong skills to soar in whatever they may choose to do. As long as what that choose to do is close to home…HA kidding, not kidding.
In honor of the month of the military child, I wanted to highlight each of my brats and tell you how awesome they are.
I’ll start with my Monroe. She is my youngest and most fresh on the mind!
Monroe was born on November 6, 2012, at Saint Josef’s Hospital in Weiden Germany. She never stepped foot in the US until she was 2.5 years old. This chick visited 11 countries before her first Birthday and none of them were the US! Her Dad deployed when she was just a little shy of turning seven months old. When he got back the following year she didn’t know who he was. This is the heartbreaking reality of the life of a military brat! Monroe was raised by myself and my tribe of women in my life at that time. We were stationed in Germany and that is a for sure place where your military friends become your family. My husband missed every one of her Birthday’s until this year when she turned 5. Missed special days are something that the entire family gets used to. I’m happy to say though that Monroe is probably the biggest Daddy’s girl of the three. She is constantly trying to divvy up her time equally between the two of us making sure no one’s feelings are getting hurt. She is one of a kind, to say the least. Love my Monroe, AKA tootsie fruitsie because she farts a lot lol…
Moving on to my Maddie. Madison was born in Fayetteville, NC home of the 82nd Airborne Division on March 8, 2010! Fort Bragg is practically our second home (still searching for the first) so it would make sense that we would have a baby there! She is also our only baby born in the US. Maddie is your typical middle child. She makes friends with everyone the second she walks into a room and is a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. She can brighten your most gloomy day and she is my constant reminder that I must be doing something right with this parenting gig I have going on. She is eager to learn and it has been fun to watch her grow along with all of the changes that life has thrown our way! She is my girl full of adventure, always excited about life…no matter what it throws at us. She is a gem and tells me at least once a week that she will build a house right next to me and daddy, and when she opens her restaurant I can come to help her bake and cook. I’m all in Maddie! I will have a plot for your house ready when you are, and that’s not a joke!
Last but not least. Mckinley Gammon, born in Schweinfurt, Germany on August 13, 2008, weighing in at a whopping 9lbs5oz. This girl had to fit all of that spunk somewhere. If there has not been a woman president by the time she is eligible she will fit the role perfectly! She is the most strong-willed girl I have ever met and is destined to be a leader and make great things happen. This girl has had it rough! She has gone through three deployments on top of being the oldest child. Let’s face it the first child is always an experiment and we have no freaking clue what we are doing! She is in 4th grade this year and has lived in 8 houses and is attending her 6th school. That’s a lot of change in her short little 9 years of life! So today I want to share one of my favorite stories with you about Mckinley. When she was two years old she wanted to wear her pj’s to school. I was not going to let this slide. I was putting my foot down. So back then I had not quite learned how to pick my battles. So I fought with my two-year-old for 45 minutes and in the end, I won. She was dressed and ready to go to school in clothes and not her Dora pj’s. That afternoon when I picked her up from school, there she was in that two sizes too big Dora pj’s riding around the playground on her tricycle. I was shocked, her teachers told me as soon as I dropped her off she grabbed her backpack got her pj’s out and went to the bathroom and changed. I hear you loud and clear my strong-willed lady! Over the years she continues to impress me with her creativeness and her brilliant little mind! She is going to move mountains so watch out world!
This life is not easy for anyone involved. No matter whose perspective you look at it from. There is one thing that I know for sure though.
That is that we are in this together, learning every single day. The good, the bad and the unspoken, they are my ride or die always and forever. We choose to live this life every single day and it’s an honor! Cheers to all of the brave military brats out there, without you this life would be meek.
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