I was born, raised, and reared in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One set of grandparents lived exactly two miles away from my house, and my other grandma, aunts, uncles, and first cousins (all two dozen+ of them) were within a 45-minute drive from home. Family is extremely important in my life.
Despite being blessed with so much family around me, I always felt stuck living in New Mexico and needed to get out. I can thank my parents for this, because we were always hitting the road for another trip along Route 66 or boarding a plane to see the sites around the country. So the older I got, the more I traveled. I visited Europe; I lived in another state; I got the heck out of that land-locked state…and I loved it. But now, years later, I’m realizing something: all the traveling and moving I did was my choice.
Three years ago I made another choice: to marry my husband, an officer in the Air Force. While I don’t think the title of an Air Force wife defines me, I do think it’s molding my life. When I married my husband I “knew what I was getting myself into,” as the phrase goes, and when the military said we’d have to move across the
country world for his job, I was totally okay with that and embraced the nomadic lifestyle. Is it horrible to not be near my family anymore? Definitely, and I miss them every day, but this is the life I chose.
This morning I was holding my newborn daughter, and for the first time I felt a twinge of sadness. She didn’t choose this lifestyle. Her dad will deploy in the future and leave her for months at a time. Through her tears, I’ll have to explain why he left and comfort her when all she wants is him. I love that she’ll grow up experiencing new places, but it absolutely breaks my heart that she’ll see her family’s faces more on a computer screen than in person.
This may be the life I chose, but I didn’t necessarily choose it for her, so I hope I can show her the positive aspects of this military life and I hope they’ll outweigh the negative just a little bit. I hope the friends we make across the world will become her surrogate family, giving her the physical hugs, kisses, and playtime when her real family is far away. I hope my husband and I will be a good example as parents so when he jets off for the sandbox she’ll know he’s coming back to a family bound by love. I hope, whether we move across the world or down the street, that she’ll understand—as cliche as this is—that her home isn’t defined by an address, but by where her heart is planted.
|I saw this floating around Facebook and I find it incredibly inspiring.
I pray my daughter will have this same outlook a decade from now.
I hope, despite the fact that she didn’t choose to be a military
child, that she will thrive at this experience and
embrace it with open arms.