April is the month of the military child—a celebration of little humans who make big sacrifices and inherently embrace wide-open views of the world. Children who are resilient, adaptable, and dynamic. Military life does not neatly fall into a category of good or bad, easy or difficult. It is both extremes and a lot of the in-between.
My youngest daughter will have lived in three different houses by the time she is three. But we learned long ago that the house itself is just that: a house. It is the family, the love and the memories that make it a home.
And we can make anywhere “home”—especially when we are able to be all together.
Anticipating our path for the next few years we are aware that our oldest daughter will likely attend three different schools by the time she starts second grade. This lifestyle will give her the opportunity to meet so many other kids and learn from different teachers. It will also be the driving force that involves saying goodbye to her besties while almost simultaneously requiring her to create new friendships in a brand-new setting.
This life gives them the chance to not only see but truly experience this beautiful country. The chance to meet and interact with people from all over the world—those who are similar and those who are very different from themselves.
My children will always live far away from family. They will grow up with the knowledge of how to cultivate strong relationships without having to be physically close to one another. We will always have a deep appreciation and anticipation for our time with family and friends, never taking one second for granted.
Throughout their childhood, they will know more about sacrifice and patriotism than most people do in their entire lifetime. They will grow up with the knowledge that people live and die for the flag and for others.
They have and will continue to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and performances without Daddy in attendance. But we will always be grateful for the simple moments together. Always remaining close as a family because when everything in our lives is different, we remain each other’s constant.
My children will have a very different childhood than my own in which I lived a short drive from my grandparents, resided in the same home for most of my life, and attended the same school with many of the same friends for decades. They will have different challenges and memories.
But it will be no less beautiful and there will be no less love.
My “military child” daughters will grow up knowing that a house is just a house, distance is just distance, and that love, friendship and family will always remain.
Originally published on the author’s blog