Friday, July 17, 2009

The military is hardly ruining my kids

I am alive. I'm not locked in a dungeon somewhere. I haven't given birth to dash-3. I'm not stranded on some desert island without wi-fi. I'm just lazy.

There the secret is out.

Earlier this week, Dash-1 had his allergy appointment at Walter Reed this week. It's a bit of a haul but his allergist there is fantastic and seriously, I'd travel to the other side of the country to see her. I'm not sure if dash-1 feels the same way but, well, I don't care. He's just along for the ride.

I must say, it looks shinier and cleaner then the last time I was there. Parking still sucks but those floors are way shinier then the floors at our MTF. And their bathrooms are so roomy.

Our MTF (military treatment facility for all you civies out there) bathrooms suck, they are so tight you have to fight to get a stroller in there. That makes no sense at a hospital where some people are in wheelchairs but hey whatever the military seldom asks for my opinion.

All in all the appointment was a relative breeze, no big hiccups, there was one close call with dash-1's mouth.

First you all must understand that he has NO concept of inside and outside voice. A wounded solider came rolling by in a motorized wheelchair with and dash-1 just stared with great big eyes and then said in total reverence and with great respect, "he's like lightening mcqueen mom" and of course, the soldier heard him.

And thankfully, thankfully he smiled.

I realized that they are growing up with this whole military thing as their "normal". They don't think it's odd to show their id to someone at a gate to go to the doctors, they don't think its strange to see guards with guns around a hospital or base, they think doctors wear cammies and not lab coats.

Really, dr's in lab coats confuse my children, we were reading a book about doctors and dash-1 pointed out that his doctor does not dress in white.

I also realized that my children must occasionally listen to me.

*insert gasps of shock here*

With the exception of the lightening mcqueen comment (but really folks, a motorized wheelchair is pretty wicked cool to a four year old) he didn't stare or make any comment rude comments about the wounded warriors we saw. Rather he asked me to explain to him again about how some people have to come here when they get hurt.

I told him that when some people have to go away they get hurt and they go there for help. Some need a little help, some need a lot. And my very perceptive child uttered a very true statement, "we are very lucky that daddy never needs help".

So true my little love.

And it's moments like this that I think for all the heartache that military life can bring about, it also allows for some amazing life lessons and moments of gratitude.


  1. Very lucky indeed! So glad your DH hasn't needed that sort of help. That soldier probably understood the honesty from a young boy and, maybe, also thought the comparison to Lightning McQueen was pretty cool.

    Yes, still waddling around over here. Believe me, I thought this baby would be here by now. Guess I've given him too happy of a home. He's got 4 more days before eviction. ;)

  2. sounds like you've got yourself a very cool, well-adjusted kid there!

    And I love the Lightning McQueen comment. I can think of much worse things a child could have said in that situation.

  3. Aw, I love his reference to lighting mcqueen! I'm glad the solider laughed. It probably made his day.

    I think military kids grow up with a lot more respect than most children now adays....

  4. great post. Always humor mixed with a good story. Love the kids and don't even know them.

  5. i needed this post right at this moment! You have no clue the feeling i have as i write this. Thank you again for reminding me of just how lucky we are to be apart of this amazing military world! These lessons arent just being taught to our kids, but they are being taught to us as well.
    thank you thank you thank you!

  6. I laughed at the Lightening McQueen statement! You and your son are so right, motorized wheelchairs are pretty freaking cool.

    It is amazing just how truthful children are at dash-1's age. And I love how respectful your children are, because I have seen a lot of military kids who aren't and their parents don't seem to care.

  7. Very cute story! I'm sure the soldier thought it was a cute comment seeming it was so innocent. And what a great life lesson for Dash-1.

  8. That is an incredible comment by such an astute little one.

    The comment he made about lightning mcqueen and the fact that a motorized wheelchair is pretty cool to a 4-year-old reminded me of something I watched a year or two ago.

    HBO had a special with James Gandolfini, and he came in to talk to I think.. 10 servicemen and women about their "alive day memories" -- basically, the day that they were supposed to die, but didn't. The one that made me absolutely cry my eyes out (let's face it all of them made me cry, but this one especially) -- was this Marine. If I remember correctly, he lost both of his legs in an IED. He has a wife and two kids, and he talked about how his kids were reacting and dealing with it, and they showed a couple of the drawings his son had made -- it was a great picture of dad, but in place of legs, he had these awesome metal rocket-ish legs that could do super powered stuff. It amazes me that kids are able to see such trauma and adjustments and just believe that their dad has become a superhero! :)

    They don't have the drawing up, but you can read more about his stories and the others (or not if it's absolutely too much of a downer) here:

    Also -- thank you for taking the time to teach your kids such valuable lessons. As much as I read your blog because you are hysterical and witty, I also read it because you are a good mom, and posts like this illustrate that point perfectly.

  9. You're raising great boys there.

  10. found your blog! and that is awesome. you are doing a great job raising your boys!

  11. Thanks for the reminder that the military life gives our kids some great advantages.

  12. You have smart kids, and you are doing a great job with them - I'm glad you're not shielding them from realities but also explaining it to them in such a good manner. It's pretty awesome. Youre kids are gona be prety awesome when they grow up, for sure. ;-)

  13. that's awesome, and I'm sure the soldier loved the comment! We don't have kids, but we have several friends (all military, guard and active) that do, and a few of them have been informed that the military will cause their children years of psychological damage, so I understand where the title of the post is coming from. People just don't get it sometimes. Then, there's the times that they do - I picked up my husband from the airport once and he was still in uniform, and we stopped to eat on the way home. While we were eating, a woman walked up to us with a young boy, maybe about 5 and she goes, "do you have a minute?" and of course, my husband said sure. The little boy looked him right in the eye and said, "thank you"..The mother told us that she was trying to teach her son that whenever he saw someone in uniform to thank them. I, honest to God, wanted to cry - I was so touched.

  14. Sooo... the lightning mcqueen joke is so funny.. I can see my 4 year old saying that...

    And the end made me cry!! Thanks for sharing!


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