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Welcome To The Fun House

When we moved overseas last summer, we came to a reasonably large US base and were immediately surprised by the number of things happening all the time.  Bases overseas tend to have significantly more services than stateside bases, and our new home has a bowling alley, a movie theater, a teen center - all sorts of stuff.  In addition, someone is always putting on an event:  MWR, USO, the schools, the spouses club.

While we were living in temporary lodging, and didn't know anyone, it was great.  At least every few days, we could go out to the field and the kids could jump in the bouncy castle (or bouncy dog, in our case), get their face painted, we could pick up some free swag, and there would either be free food or someone selling burgers for some worthwhile cause.  It was great entertainment.  The first few times.

Well, it has been nearly a year, and frankly, I'm finding it exhausting.  Last Saturday was the Easter egg hunt, aka candy grab, with someone selling burgers, and the bounce house.  Wednesday night it was some sort of month of the military child celebration with food, and games, and of course, the bounce house.  Tonight they are celebrating Earth Day with some food, some games, and, don't forget the bounce house.  We try very hard not to go to every event, but they are promoted like crazy everywhere and they haven't quite lost all their luster for the young people yet.

These events are becoming so commonplace in my kids lives that I'm a little worried.  What is going to happen when we return to the US, and there are no weekly infusions of face paint and free bouncy balls?  Is there some sort of "fest anonymous" for military brats returning to reality?

In the meantime, I'm off to celebrate Mother Earth by wandering around the Navy base, trying to get my kids to stop gathering more plastic things and eat some dinner instead.  Happy Earth Day!

photo by Orin Zebest

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