Boy and Girl Child have an exclusive membership to a world-renowned club. This club has great perks: travel to far-off lands, make friends the world over, and even live in exotic places like Kansas. There are a few downsides to this particular society as well. You have to join a different region every couple of years, and sometimes the main organization actually has to borrow a parent (or parents) for a bit of time. The thing about this secret society? Membership was automatic. They didn’t have to sign up for it — they were born into it.
Growing up, the military was an unknown for me. Two of my grandfathers were military men — my dad’s dad was an MP in the U.S. Army and fought in World War II. My mom’s dad was in the Navy and served in the Korean War. I had aunts and uncles that served (and later cousins, as well), but the scope of the military never really hit home until I met and fell in love with Husband.
Husband’s family has a pretty long (and impressive) military lineage. He’s active-duty, but he is also a member of the secret society of brats. He and his two brothers were all born in different states, graduated from different high schools, and lived in glamorous places like…Arkansas. Before Husband joined, we talked about our hypothetical kids and how the military lifestyle might affect them. I figured Husband and his brothers turned out pretty good, so I was fairly confident our someday kids would be all right.
Fast-forward 16 years. We’re about to embark on our seventh move to our fourth country (if you count the good ol’ U.S.A.). We’ve racked up a total of 35,862 relocation miles (too bad we can’t count that toward airline miles). Boy Child and Girl Child have both gone to several schools, made countless friends and have had to say “see you later” to just as many. They’ve seen famous landmarks (whether or not they wanted to), and spent lazy Sundays floating in the Pacific. They have had to adjust and readjust, succeed and fail, only to do it all again a few short years later. The sheer amount of grace that they and their fellow military brats exude never ceases to amaze me. I hope I can be like them when I grow up.
April is Month of the Military Child (MOMC). It’s the month when we sport the color purple and organize special activities to recognize the amazing resiliency of military kids. Yesterday, the local skating rink had a special afternoon to celebrate MOMC. As my kiddos were skating around the room, laughing and chatting with their friends, I realized that every single kid in this room had one thing in common with each other — they are all members of the Secret Society of Brats.