April is the Month of the Military Child! These kids deserve to be celebrated all year…but Year of the Military Child feels like a big as, so a month is pretty good.
What makes the military child special?
As a military spouse, I had some say in walking into this crazy military lifestyle. I knew I would go days/weeks/months without seeing my husband. It won’t be a surprise to me when we have to move. Sure there are a lot of parts that just straight up suck, but I knew there would be.
Military kids didn’t have any kind of choice. They were born into this life and for some it will be all they know.
But they do it. They go through the moves. A military child will say goodbye to more friends in 18 years than some people make in their entire lives. The military child is special because they will grow up knowing what it is like to miss one, or sometimes both, of their parents. Mom or Dad will miss birthdays, Christmases, and so many other milestones and holidays.
The Month of the Military Child is important because it reminds us to celebrate these kids that go through so much. It reminds us to be a little extra kind because the struggles that they go through are so huge compared to their civilian counterparts.
My Military Child
The biggest hesitation I had about Charlie going back to active duty was what it would mean for Oliver. Charlie and I have been through a deployment together already (more about our story here) and even though having a child would make it harder, I knew I could handle it. It was familiar territory in a way. But Oliver didn’t get a choice. I knew that by deciding to go back to the Army we were deciding on a certain type of life for our child and I struggled with that decision.
There are going to be so many really really good things. We are going to travel and Oliver will get to really experience different parts of the world first hand. He will meet friends from so many different backgrounds. My child will grow up learning about strength, resilience, perseverance and love. So much love. But it’s going to be really hard on him too. I know that his dad won’t always be here. We are going to go through a lot of highs and lows missing a part of our family. And making that choice for his life was not a decision I made lightly.
I hope when he is grown he will appreciate our life. I hope he won’t regret not getting to grow up in one town with the same friends from kindergarten to graduation. More than anything I hope he has inherited my love for adventure and change…because otherwise this is going to be a very long road.
Every single day I hope that I made the right choice when I chose to make my child a military child.
Only time will tell how he will feel about this life. But my greatest hope is that we can love him through the tough times and teach him to really enjoy the good times. And that is the goal with any child right?
Make a Difference
If you know military kids, be proactive. Love on them. Familiarize yourself with what they are experiencing and realize that they may not know how to express their emotions. A military child will go through so many experiences that can cause fear, anxiety and loneliness. Be there for them. Sometimes all they need is a friend.
I hope we can celebrate the Month of the Military Child then go through the rest of the year with a renewed intention to be kind and supportive to military kids. They go through a lot and they are truly inspiring!
I would love to hear from you if you are also the parent of a military child! What is your biggest challenge?
And if you are a military child please let me know what you thought about the experience!