We were only a couple of weeks in to our most recent deployment and Murphy had reared his ugly head too many times to even want to remember! The last in our unfortunate incidences, the TV. One of my three wonderful children decided to take it out (with something apparently hard and sharp). This of course was realized once they were all tucked away snugly in bed. So me being the optimist that I strive to be, start looking for the silver lining in this extremely gray cloud! My husband has been wanting a BIG TV. We currently have a 42” and I have stood ground refusing anything bigger! Our TV is fine I have told him on several occasions and our definitions of bigger are totally different. I saw the lust in his eyes for the monstrous 60” TV displayed front and center of the many walking isles at the NEX. So in a moment of pure genius I decided to venture out the next morning in search of a new TV, best thing is it can get bigger without having to watch Dora and Bubble Guppies like we are at the movie theater! I left my house keeping in mind a few rules of TV purchasing for my husband: it must be BIG, it must be LG and it must not be a plasma! I arrive at the NEX around 0930, walk directly to the TV section find pretty much what I am looking for, call the sales associate over to ask a couple of questions. I have two TV’s that I can choose from that fit the requirements; last years model and this years model. I decide that I will fork out the extra cash and get this years model. I purchase the TV, drive over and pick it up. I get home relax for a minute then reluctantly drag the TV from the car to the house (and yes, I literally drug the TV). With a little elbow grease and a few colorful “words” the TV is up and installed; working beautifully. I look at the clock and the time is 1045. Ummmm… yes, you read that right. In 1 hour and 15 minutes I had purchased, picked up, uninstalled the old TV and installed the new TV. This is something that all inclusive would have taken hours or even days if my husband had been present (I know I can’t be alone here!). It would have been all day just choosing the perfect TV and that TV would have been way to big which would have required a new TV stand. You all know how that goes. So the lesson I learned is that TV shopping with out my husband is the only way to go! He got a “bigger” TV, it is an LG and it is not plasma! And I get to keep my entertainment center that I love! Another plus, and this is for him: he never has to listen to me talk bad about the TV, because I bought it all on my own! It is really a win, win for everybody! Except the kids who are currently on cleaning duty as punishment!
April is the Month of the Military Child. We as spouses are often referred to as the Silent Ranks. I would assume this to include our children. Do we ever step back and take a look at them for what they really are? Do you ever have that moment when you realize that your five year old probably knows more about life then you did when you were first married?
I started thinking about what to put in a tribute to our wonderful, flexible, well adjusted Military “brats“. I thought of how to convey what most people think about the average military “brat”: they move a lot, they leave friends, the get to live in cool places! I have never really thought much about it. I always wanted my kids to feel as normal as possible. My children have always been just that, children. Then I stumbled upon something that intrigued me. I need to share this take on the military “brat” and why we should realize what our children are.
Wikipedia defines the military “brat” as: people who spend their childhood or adolescence while a parent (or parents) serve full-time in the armed forces, and can also refer to the unique subculture and lifestyle of American military brats, the term refers to both current and former children of such families. The mention of a subculture got me curious so I had to read more. They go on to define that subculture known as military brats as one of America’s oldest, yet least well known and largely invisible, subcultures. Our children have also been described as a modern nomadic subculture in research studies.
We all know that when we refer to our children as military “brats” it is a term of endearment; our children know this as well. The term also indicates to most a certain image, one of an adaptable, spunky character. I think this opened my eyes to some things. Our children, like us, are a very special breed, they will learn, live, love and thrive were they are planted. They will most likely deal with more by the age of 10 then their civilian counterparts will in their entire adult lives. Our service members may have chosen this career, as did we by loving them, but our children were born into this. They had no knowledge of what they were getting into and they have thrived! How many kids can be that resilient?
So, take this month and honor your “brats”, let them know how special they are. Tell them how much you love them for just being them.
So the next time your child struggles because of what we have chosen for them, let them know that there is a whole nomadic subculture waiting to accept them! ~Tori