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Observations: The Extended Military Family

We often focus on the sisterhood (and brotherhood) of spouses here at SpouseBUZZ because, well, that's what SpouseBUZZ is all about. But over the past couple of days, I discovered that these bonds reach far beyond our fellow spouses, and it was a wonderful discovery.

The SpouseBUZZ team (minus two) began making their way to Washington last Sunday for a meet-up (little bit of business and a lot of pleasure). The nerve center was airforcewife's house. I arrived at the nerve center on Monday afternoon and was greeted by the smallest and youngest segments of airforcefamily - the kids. Before I could even get my door open, airforceboy was reaching in my car to give me a hug, and I got three or four more before I reached the front door! As soon as I stepped out of the car, the youngest airforce daughter excitedly approached me to show off her new caterpillar, and we had a discussion about the various colors of caterpillars. Once I finally got out of the car, the middle daughter ran to my car. "Hi, Ms. Andi. Oh, that's our neighbor's parking place, can you move your car here?" And with that, the traffic director guided me into a new parking spot.

When I finally made it to the door, I was greeted by another airforcechild. Of the four-legged variety. Ike, the pit bull was very happy to see me, and he's the sweetest thing ever. I think my phobia of pit bulls is now history.

During the evening, various airforce daughters would tap my arm and share stuff with me, or ask me questions.

Ms. Andi, did you see my earrings?

Ms. Andi, this is my cactus that we planted. Which kind is your favorite cactus?

"Ms. Andi," one asked with a grin on her face, "can I take a picture of you with your wine glass?" Ha!

The airforcekids interacted in the same way with the other gals and guy, and something struck me. These kids have only met the SpouseBUZZ team once, at Ft. Bragg. They didn't really know us from that whirlwind of a weekend, they knew us because their mom talks about us at home (I hope she chooses her stories carefully). Having nine strangers over to their home wasn't weird and they didn't need a period of time to warm up to us. These people were, after all, part of their extended family, and that was clear.

I don't have kids, but I have noticed that kids can sometimes be shy or reserved when they meet new people. And since I don't have kids, I have no idea if there is generally a difference between military kids and civilian kids and how they approach meeting new people, but what I came away believing was that the bonds between military spouses extend to the entire military family.

Of course, anyone would feel comfortable in airforcefamily's home, but often times, guests look to the hostess/host to make them feel comfortable in their home. In this case, the kids set the tone before I even opened the front door. How great is that?

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