A mil-brat's special birthday


We're approaching a milestone in our family this week. Our oldest child is turning 10. For a civilian child, it's the double digits that might make it a big deal. For a military child, it's even bigger.

This is when you've arrived.You are official. Youhave a plastic card with your picture on it! But it's not just a card. It's your passport to the Exchange, the commissary, the movie theater, etc. Our daughter has already asked if it means she'll get to go to the movies by herself. Or if she'll be able to go the Exchange by herself. (Our base is REALLY small so all of these places are within blocks of where we live.) Personally, I'm looking forward to sending her to the commissary to pick up some milk.

Granted, many times, kids have these ID cards and rarely need to use them. Especially when they are only 10. This probably explains why Stretch doesn't understand what the big deal is about getting it. But he didn't grow up in a military family. I did. And almost 30 years later, I can still remember the excitement of getting my first ID card. And I don't think I'm alone. The excitement has little to do with the physical card and a lot to do with feeling as if you're one step closer to being a grown-up, being entrusted with privileges and responsibilities that you didn't have before. And it's being conferred on you by someone other than your parents.

Heady stuff. Especially when you're 10.

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