april 2024: the month of the military child

the month of the military child

Every year, right around spring time, it hits us just how abnormal this life is that we lead. Most days, it’s easy to forget how vastly different our lived experience is to that of so many, but during the Month of the Military Child, it always brings those differences to light in stark contrast. I don’t post too much these days about military life as a whole because it’s such a personal journey for each military family. But this one? The experience of military children? It’s shared, and it’s highlighted each April.

The Month of the Military Child

I think it’s safe to say that this past move from South Korea to Alaska has, by far, been the most challenging move we’ve ever faced as a family. There are so many reasons as to why this is, but so much of it just has to do with what and where becomes home over time. We hadn’t found that home until South Korea, and missing that home has been so hard. Alaska has been an adventure in its own right, and we’re forever grateful for this adventure, but it’s been hard for every single one of us, and I won’t sugarcoat that.

month of the military child

military kids

Are you curious what The Month of the Military Child looks like? It’s something like this…

  • Our 9-year-old was born in Arizona, lived there for two weeks, and has lived in New York, Washington, South Korea, and now Alaska
  • Our 7-year-old was born in New York, and he turned two somewhere in the middle of South Dakota on the way to our duty station in Washington
  • Our 5-year-old was born in Washington and moved to South Korea at two, where she learned the language and quickly adopted a new culture
  • Our kids have attended a total of 5 different in-person schools in their short lives
  • We started homeschooling to facilitate adventures and mitigate gaps in their education
  • The boys have seen daddy deploy three times, and our daughter has seen him deploy twice
  • It’s normal for our kids never to live closer to their grandparents than an eight-hour drive and only see them once or twice in-person each year
  • Our kids have friends everywhere around the globe (literally – Hawaii, Germany, South Korea, Texas, Italy…)
  • They know the difference between the 24-hour and 12-hour clocks
  • The kids measure in both the metric and imperial system
  • Their piggy banks are filled with different currencies and they set them aside for each location we go
  • They have civilian passports and government passports, and they know the difference between the two
  • They have honorary aunties and uncles from every location we’ve lived with whom they stay in touch

military children

why are military kids called dandelions

Why Military Kids are Called Dandelions

You’ll often find shirts and swag celebrating military kids with an image of a dandelion on it. Curious why? Dandelions bloom where they’re planted. They’re nearly impossible to destroy. They grow and thrive just about anywhere.

These kiddos are so resilient and so strong. As hard as this journey (and especially this last move) has been for Ryan and myself, it’s been infinitely more challenging for them. And yet, they persist. They made new friends in a matter of days. They dealt with being the “new kids” at their jiu jitsu gym and fit right in. They grow, and adapt, and thrive everywhere we take them, and I couldn’t be more proud.

I want to say all of this with a strong caveat…they’re strong, but they’re not immune to the challenges, and it gets harder and harder each time. So, trust me, these children deserve to be celebrated during The Month of the Military Child.