This past week, my son’s school had its annual Military Appreciation Day parade and ceremony. It’s a day set aside each year to thank those who serve in the military and show appreciation and understanding to the military children at our school.
Last year, my husband was deployed during this ceremony so I had the emotions you would expect from any military wife who’s at a patriotic event without their sailor. It made me miss my hubby even more than usual. It made me question his safety. It made me want him home NOW! Us moms all joked we needed to keep our sunglasses on to hide our tears even!
This year, however, my husband is home! (yay-praise Jesus!) As I helped the kids get dressed in their red, white and blue this morning, I told myself this year would be so different! I wouldn’t feel sad at all…boy, was I wrong!
The principal read a poem about the military child explaining how they are like a dandelion:
As you can imagine, this poem ripped out a whole different set of emotions in this mommy heart. I watched my children as the principal read those words with new eyes. Eyes that really saw for the first time how emotionally strong they are. Eyes that saw for the first time how brave they are to be in this lifestyle that makes them start new schools every couple of years with all new friends and teachers. Eyes that saw how much they needed my love.
So many times I find myself saying, “yeah, military life has its pros and cons.” But, have I ever sat down and REALLY thought about the pros and cons it has in relation to my kids? Now, before you go and assume I’m a selfish mom who isn’t considerate of her kids, let me tell you, I’m just being REAL here. We’ve been in this military life for so long, it’s easy to sit back and go through the day-to-day without paying close attention to the details.
Sure, I’ve felt their pain every single time their daddy steps onto that submarine! Sure, I’ve felt their pain every single time their daddy misses a football game and I see their eyes looking in the crowd for daddy only to find he’s not there with the other daddies. Trust me! It rips out my heart every time I see those tears fall out of their blue eyes and onto those little cheeks! Having to explain to them why daddy won’t be there for their birthday party or for holidays…it never gets easier!
So, yes, I DO think of how this military life affects my kids…but, there was just something about today—I was reminded of a BIG detail I often overlook: I need to thank my kids for THEIR SERVICE!
As a military wife, I oftentimes will receive “thank you’s” from strangers for my “service.” It always makes me feel good to be recognized! I feel appreciated for all that I do “behind the scenes” as a military wife. Sometimes, it’s that random “thank you” that gives me the strength to push on!
I need to remember (especially in those times where I can see my kids are having a hard time) to simply say THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! They have to make as many adjustments as I do in this lifestyle. So many of those changes they probably don’t even understand fully why they are making them. They deserve recognition for supporting their daddy as much as myself-if not even more!
So, if you are a military spouse like myself, I urge you to thank your kids for all they do as military kids. Thank them for being brave, strong, amazing kids! You know how amazing they are-take a minute and thank them today!
If you are reading this and you AREN’T a military spouse, I urge you to thank any military child you come across. I hope this opens up your heart to them and puts a little more understanding into what they go through as a military child. The next time you see a military member walking by in uniform, take a moment to pray for their children. Pray for their continued strength and bravery!
It’s a BIG JOB for such little people…a big job that they do so well!