Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Cry That Broke Momma's Heart

April is "the month of the military child" and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really sure what that means. Military child "appreciation" month? Military child recognition month? I have no clue. It usually passes virtually unnoticed. We made it over half-way through the month before I remembered. I initially shrugged it off until I was going through some old facebook posts and ran across one I'd almost completely (but not quite) forgotten about. I wrote it shortly after we had PCSd (military lingo for moved to a new location) to Alaska. The first couple months up here were a bit of a doozy for all of us, both physically and emotionally. And, as if adjusting to a new location weren't bad enough, October rolled around and Congress decided to play chicken with balancing the budget. Again. And, again, that meant because they couldn't balance the budget that military pay was threatened until they could reach an agreement. Before this gets to political I'd like to point out that both parties are responsible for this - it's like Social Security and military pay are their bargaining chips. The uproar would be enormous if the military didn't get paid (thankfully our bank has our back even if our government doesn't) so instead of protecting that pay, which has been proposed more than once, they use it as a tool. It never ceases to tick me off. So there you have a little background as to what was going in our lives and minds when I wrote this post.

October 2, 2015

 "Last night I came in the room to find my son sobbing on his bed after bedtime.
  ' What's wrong?' I asked, fully expecting him to be upset about the music he was listening to or a missing stuffed animal, the blankets not being just right, or some such silliness that plagues the lives of small children. Instead my heart nearly broke when he whimpered, 'I want to go back to Tennessee. I miss my friends.'
  'I'm so sorry honey, I know it's hard.' I comforted.
  'No one here likes me, Mom, they all like Ana better!' And my heart broke a little more.
  Trenton is my 'hard to love' child...he's as cute as a button and momma's little snuggle bug but he tends to be extremely shy and standoffish with people he doesn't know. And he practically lives to shock and aggravate others. compared to his social butterfly sister he always comes up short. And as many times as I've reminded him that in order to have friends he has to be friendly, I think a part of his 5 year old little self just feels like it's too much of a struggle and that he just can't measure up to his sister. And underneath that tough, loner exterior he's truly a sweet and very sensitive child.
  So I asked him about the new friends he's made here and whether or not some of them liked him...he nodded a tearful 'yes' then followed that up with 'I just really miss my old friends.'
  I cuddled him on his bed and stroked his cheek while he fell asleep, promising that sleep would make it not hurt quite so much. But my heart has still not quite quit hurting for my baby boy. And it makes me angry with the flippancy that we, as a military family, get treated by those that should be most on our side. Our government is threatening our pay once again because they can't manage to balance the budget and rather than protect military pay (which has been proposed more than once) they use us as pawns. They say they pay us too much but force us to uproot our lives every 2-4 years sending us nearly anywhere on the globe of their choosing. No amount of money could ever compensate of having to comfort my hurting child or the amount of family time that we have missed and will continue to miss. When we're talking over $2,000 just for roundtrip airline tickets for a family of 4 to do down to the Lower 48, that makes seeing family a near impossibility for the next few years...but you're going to say we are paid too much? That we're overly entitled and money is being wasted on us? I'll be the first to say that there is a lot of waste in the Army but it's not being wasted in our pay...not with the sacrifices they are asking us to make. And to anyone that believes that it is being wasted on my family, say that to my face while I cuddle my children who are missing their friends and family after their whole little lives have been turned upside down again and while my husband does his duty for the sake of their freedom."

I still feel as passionately now as I did back then. The moves are hard on all of us. The uprooting, the changes, not being able to see family. My husband has missed the birth of one of his children, multiple birthdays, two anniversaries, and several holidays - and honestly, most of that is just goes with military life.

And we actually do enjoy the military life for the most part. It has it's drawbacks but it has it's really good points too. My husband thrives at his job; it's difficult and sometimes very emotionally taxing, but he's good at it. He's proud of what he does and so am I. We've been some great places and made some amazing, life-long friendships that we wouldn't have had it not been for these moves. It's forced me out of my comfort zone and made me a stronger, better person. So, yes, it is hard, but it's not all bad!

Leaving our friends behind is really difficult but gaining new ones? That's amazing. And we have. ALL of us. Ana, of course, was no surprise at how quickly my little bubbly extrovert made friends. Trenton and I both making really good friends within the first six months of being here is just barely short of a miracle. We have though, and it so wonderful!

Celebrating his 5th Birthday with his very first friend he made
A few more of his friends
Costume Practice for the Christmas play.
He was one of the wise men, I still haven't gotten over that irony!
Trenton and one of his buddies, chilling after having played...well, whatever it is that energetic little boys play!

Playing Legos at one of his favorite places with one of his favorite friends.

They love this place and these friends!

Going to see a movie with his "adopted sister" - or so he wishes. They get along about like siblings do!

No comments:

Post a Comment