From the mailbag
Published: June 22, 2011
Moving with small children has its challenges. Moving with teenagers has more. I made it through those experiences one by one, each time breathing a sigh of relief when my kids plugged in, made friends, loved our new home and still loved their parents.
As my second child prepares to venture from the nest, I’ve realized that the imprints of our lifetime of moving are not temporary. Our family is marked in many ways. Some are as obvious as our eclectic furniture and décor, or our children’s complete lack of a regional accent. Some are hidden like an inventory sticker from three moves back clinging to the inside of a dresser drawer.
In separate columns, my daughter Jessie and I wrote about the way our experiences have shaped us as individuals and as a family. Many readers responded by email, at Spouse Calls online and via the Spouse Calls Facebook page.
Here are some of their thoughts:
Reading your daughter's thoughts on being a military brat (“Pomp and Changing Circumstances,” June 7, 2011) touched my heart. I am an Air Force brat myself, but what made me tear up a bit as I read this is that I am now the mom of an Army brat. My husband and I are both active duty.
Our daughter was born in Hawaii four years ago and we have been in Germany for two years. I think about the childhood that she is going to experience and though I know I did just fine, I still pray that all the change won't affect her negatively.
It warms my heart to hear your daughter speak so candidly about her experience and reaffirms my belief that my own daughter's childhood will be quite all right. Thank you!
If only all young adults could have such a sense of self, and such determination. I don't know you, Jessie, but I am in awe of the young woman you are, and have no doubt of the remarkable woman you will be.
Thank you so much for these wonderful observations (“Strings Attached,” May 3, 2011). My three girls are still in grade school but I see how quickly they will be young adults, and consequently fiercely independent due to our lifestyle.
We've moved every two years since my oldest was born. We are PCSing this summer … leaving a fabulous community where we have been so fortunate to make forever friends. And so the adventure goes on!
I will forever keep this article in hopes it will offer me some comfort when my own children are traveling the world while my husband and I are simply wishing they lived next door!
My dad is retired Air Force. We moved every two years, and then I married a military man, moving every three years. My husband is a retired Army helicopter pilot.
We are very blessed that our three grown children have been “Semper Gumby,” always flexible, with all the moving throughout their growing up years. They have been very successful, levelheaded, made friends easily, and had un-paralleled opportunities.
But, oh, how I can relate to your wonderful article, so full of truth! Our older daughter is married, ready to move again … younger daughter in another state finishing her last year of dental school, our baby is an undergrad, also not in the state we live. We just got back from an 11-hour drive to see all of them before the summer brings more moves … I want to still have my “apron strings” close enough so that we can enjoy those future grandbabies. So ... we'll see. -- Maria
Just like I remember holding my firstborn and finally catching a glimpse of the depth of my mother's love for me, when the last born left the nest, I was suddenly more sympathetic to my mother’s tears every time we leave after a visit. It doesn't get easier (sorry), but there is a “new normal” that you learn to embrace by God's grace.