Growing up, I always wanted to be a military brat. Moving ever few years, exploring new area and meeting new people, what could be better? Alright, I'm sure there are those who fall on either side of the fence, those having loved being a military kid and those who despised all that came with it.
I find it slightly comical that Wikipedia refers to military brats as being part of an American subculture. Sounds so underground! Of course, Dr. David C. Pollock included military kids in a group he titled "Third Culture Kids". Who knew there was so much discussion and labeling of military children? One explanation of Third Culture Kids comes from Interaction, Inc. and it goes as follows: “Third culture kids (TCKs) are not new, and they are not few. They have been a part of the earth’s population from the earliest migrations. They are normal people with the usual struggles and pleasures of life. But because they have grown up with different experiences from those who have lived primarily in one culture, TCKs are sometimes seen as slightly strange by the people around them."
I'm sorry, but what? Honestly, that describes a large percentage of the world's children. Aren't all kids strange? They have odd habits sometimes, they do funny things. Of course, they have been a part of the earth from earliest migration, it's that whole which came first the chicken or the egg thing. Seriously? Perhaps this is way over my head and I'm not on that intellectual plain to comprehend the delicate and complex issue at hand. Maybe this guy actually trying to come up with something brilliant here and he had knowledge that not everyone possesses. It all sounds a little Indigo Child to me, of course, many things may be opposite, but you get them point. I am hugely digressing here. Anyway, like me, people (who didn't grow up military) seem to be fascinated with brathood.
I suppose I wouldn't have liked being analyzed and labeled by doctors, philosopher and psychologists. Still, aside from that, the life intrigues me. My children are, obviously, military brats. Ironically, *takes voice down to a whisper* they have all been born in the same hospital. Shhh. I don't share that with too many military wives, it's insanely unheard of, and I'm very lucky to have had my three kids delivered by the same OB staff. True story.
Nonetheless, they will have lived in different locations. They will have stories about my husband's comings and goings. They will have pictures, scrapbooks, treasures and other memorabilia to collect throughout the years that will tell a tale of their military family and the travels they endured. They will, in my assessment, have a leg up on some of their civilian friends for they may very well be exposed to more ethnicities, cultures and religions in their childhood because of our situation. Oh, wait, that's also a personal thing. I do think any parent, civilian or military, can give such exposure to their child. Still, I do think it kind of goes hand in hand with the military life. You know, the whole nomadic life experience thing.
My biggest concern is that of moving schools. Okay, I take that back. I have a teeny concern about it. There are options. I'm okay with moving a bunch during the elementary school years. Still, what comes of these kids when they get up their in age and start seriously establishing themselves in school districts? Is it terribly traumatic on them to uproot them and replant them during junior year of high school? (My husband thinks this won't be an issue for us, but I've got him doing 30 years whether he likes it or not. ;) ).
When I start to think about this I remember my junior year of high school. We had this girl move to our district from who-knows-where. Her dad was in the service. She had just been named her high school's junior prom Queen the month before she moved to our school. She bragged about it and made it her 'break the ice with the home team' information. Well, our school's prom was the next month. We were late in the year. The girl actually brought her sash to our prom. Wouldn't you know it, she even walked around the junior girls circle thingy to be judged (how cruel, is that anyway?) to hopefully make prom court. Well, I kid you not, this chick actually got chosen as Queen of OUR junior prom too. Then, she moved over the summer (nods head) and didn't even go to school with us senior year. we never heard from her again. We had a theory that her dad wasn't really in the military, that they just moved so she could collect prom sashes.
Anyway, I'm so completely off topic. LOL
So, I guess for kids like THAT, it can be fun and cool. Still, what of the kid who doesn't really fit in and doesn't do well in new situations? Do you just homeschool or tell them to suck it up? You could GEO I suppose, but man, that can be tough too.
I'd love to hear some brat stories and see your experiences. What have your kids been through thus far? Do you think the Coast Guard brats are any different than other service brats? How so? (You like the homework assignment?) :)