I'm sitting on a balcony overlooking Bluewater Bay near my son, Matty's current assignment at Eglin AFB.
Coffee in hand.
Laptop in my lap, protected from the scalding plastic chairs by my now 3rd degree-burned thighs.
Life is good.
How is it that I was planning Matty's High School graduation just a year ago and now he's suggesting restaurants we need to try? Is it because he knows that the way to my heart is through my stomach or does he just want a free meal? Honestly, either is fine.
Parenting is a transformative journey filled with challenges, countless proud moments, and joys. When your child serves in the military, it adds a unique layer to the experience. It's an exceptional journey of being a parent to a military child, everything from the immense pride, resilience, and sacrifices that come with this role.
Pride and Sacrifices: Parents of military children make their own sacrifices. For example, Matt and I had to choose between Rolex and visiting Matty. Equestrians will understand the difficulty. You endure the separations, the uncertainty, and the worry that comes with having a child in the military. Yet, your pride shines through as you watch your child serve their country with honor and dedication. The sacrifices you make as a parent reflect the unwavering love and support you have for your child, knowing that their service contributes to something greater than themselves.
Celebrating Resilience: Military children demonstrate extraordinary resilience in the face of adversity. They learn to cope with the unique demands of military life. As a parent, you witness their adaptability and strength firsthand, and it fills your heart with pride to see them grow into resilient individuals and overcome challenges.
Supporting Through Separation: One of the significant challenges of being a parent to a military child is dealing with the periods of separation. As a parent, you offer reassurance and unwavering support, providing comfort and stability during these times of absence. Maintaining open lines of communication, offering emotional support, rearranging travel schedules for most visits, and sending care packages become essential tools in helping your child navigate the challenges of separation.
Embracing the Military Community: Being a parent of a military child means embracing the military community. Military families offer a unique support network, understanding the challenges and joys that come with military life. Engaging with other military parents allows you to exchange advice, form deep connections, and share experiences. The bonds forged within the military community become a source of encouragement and strength for both you and your child.
Celebrating Achievements: ALWAYS. CELEBRATE. YOUR. WINs. Every accomplishment, milestone, and promotion your military child achieves becomes a moment of celebration. From graduations to promotions, witnessing their achievements and growth is indescribable. You recognize the determination and hard work they have invested in their military career, and as a parent, you feel a deep sense of accomplishment in raising a child who serves with courage and integrity. Having the honor of watching Matt, tap Matty out at his graduation is a core memory. The absolute highlight of this adventure so far and one I will cherish forever.
During our recent visit, Matty gave us a private tour of his radar station. As I paused for a moment to take a step back and watch him as he proudly showed us some of the demands of his military life, my heart swelled with pride, knowing we have raised a true hero.
Until the next visit..
Ajia Clancy coaches YOU to self empowerment while helping you navigate life towards your health & wellness goals.