Memorial Day & the Military Child

I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the last holiday of the month: Memorial Day. As a mother and a member of the Armed Forces, I know more than anyone the struggles of raising a child while serving on active duty.

The military child is a complicated thing: they move around constantly and rarely get an opportunity to grow roots. While they might speak several languages and they are quite adaptable to new situations, many of them long to just stay put or have a regular schedule- you know, basic stuff.

The guilt I personally have felt as a military parent can sometimes be overwhelming. Even as I write this article now I’m away from my children for a month. My husband stays home and keeps the house running, and that’s not even a quarter of the time that most service members are away.

I want to say to those parents that I understand the feeling of seeing a video of your child and noticing that their face has changed. It looks less “baby” and more “adult”

I understand seeing more missing teeth that the last time you saw them, or maybe the adult teeth have come in and it’s like they have a whole new smile.

I understand the repore they build with the parent staying home is a strong bond that you will never quite be a part of. There’s a little bit of that “outsider” feeling upon your return.

I understand that when they’re very little, sometimes you come home and they don’t know you, or they do know you and they’re angry with you for leaving in the first place.

And finally, though I have not lost a loved one, I have participated in numerous ceremonies for those who have died in the line of duty. Some of them are very young – far too young. And then there are those that leave children behind. It makes a military child grow up faster than they’re really supposed to.

Thank you to all members of the Armed Forces, both Active Duty and Reserve, who are just doing their jobs day in and day out so that every family can sleep safely at night. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

 

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About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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