Why didn’t you tell me I would be raising incredibly resilient kids? Seriously, I thought I would have a nervous break down the first time I moved my children away from everything they had ever known.
Luckily for us, that first move was to a beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The first few months were tough, being away from Gram and Pops and everyone else they had ever known. Slowly they adjusted to this new life, strangers became friends and friends became family.
Fast forward almost nine years, four states, six schools, and one baby brother later.
And here we are. Now we are PCS champions, a been there done that kind of family. We are mo longer the scared little Army family. No longer the family who had no idea what PCS even stood for. No longer who we were when starting this journey what seems like a lifetime ago.
I see how countless tears and good byes have sculpted these little people into amazingly resilient children. I find I have actually learned resilience from my children.
I learned from the kids who came home crying for their old friends after the first day of attending a new school. Then a week later quietly admitted they were starting to like it here.
I learned from the kids who had an absent parent at that school awards ceremony. Then beamed with excitement that same day while showing daddy that award via Skype.
I learned from the one who played that championship soccer game while daddy was stuck on duty. Then later told him all about it.
These are the resilient ones, the ones who I am proud to call my children.
These kids are able to forge new lifelong friendships in an unbelievably short amount of time. Why? They know sometimes that’s all the time they have. These kids are embracing a life of uncertainty, a life of devastating goodbyes and promising hellos. A life of new friends and a life of never letting go of the old. A life constantly being “the new kid.”
The life they were born into means that they are the ones having a parent absent from that awards ceremony, that championship soccer game, last years birthday, next years Christmas. They adjust with incredible resilience. Why? It’s what they know.
They know this move will be harder than the last, yet they embrace it. They know this goodbye will be full of tears, yet they embrace it. They know this school will be different than the last, and yet they embrace it.
That deployment that has been lurking around the corner? They embrace that too. They fully embrace the life of being raised as military child. Their pride in their father, their family and their country in unmatchable.
As a parent it’s amazing and inspiring to watch these once shy and introverted children, turn a life of uncertainty and never ending trials into a childhood they will someday look back on and smile. They will look back on friendships they have made, and be thankful for the move that started that friendship. You say “Army Brat” I say resilient.
Michelle Latham is married to an active duty Soldier who is currently deployed. The couple married as high school sweethearts and now have three kids ages 14, 11, and 3. They are currently stationed in Kansas.
Why Didn’t You Tell Me is a weekly feature that gives our readers a space to tell their own story. If you have a story for us, please submit using the contact button above. All stories must be original and unpublished.