Archive for January, 2012

I came across this documentary on military brats–Brats: Our Journey Home. I’m looking forward to watching the entire thing, but here’s the trailer in the meantime!

A fellow blogger and military mom has a great post about resources for children struggling with military brat life: Advocating for Our Military Brats

I think getting access to the stories of other “brats” who have experienced a similar upbringing is another great resource for kids currently going through it. That’s why I find books and film so helpful–stories give us meaning, and there’s nothing quite as meaningful as hearing another’s story that could very well be your own.

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Image by bizzlenj via Flickr

Something starts to happen to me every 2-3 years that most military brats will surely recognize. I start to get the itch. Yes, Colorado is a very dry climate and you have to wear extra lotion here in the winter, but that’s not what I mean. I start to get what I have fondly come to call “the three year itch”—to move. It’s hard to know whether such an urge is a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, it definitely keeps things from getting stagnant. On the other, it makes it difficult to be fully present in the place you’re at. I imagine (though I’ve yet to experience) that this itch can be relieved if you just sit with it for a while and don’t scratch—which means, gasp, staying in one place at least 4 or 5 years. But in an age where college programs and a lack of job security have more people mobile than ever before, I bet military brats aren’t the only ones who need the number for a good dermatologist. A lot of brats—and other transient beings—just get used to “the cycle,” almost likes it’s downloaded onto our systems.

It goes something like this:

Year 1: CHANGE. You pack up everything you own, move to a place you’ve never been, and hate life for a good 6 months because you have no friends and this place doesn’t have nearly as much to do as the last place you lived (it doesn’t matter if you’re moving from Kansas to Hawaii, by the way…this is how your warped little brat brain will feel). By the end of the year, you’ll have a few friends—at least one of them will undoubtedly move just when you’re starting to get close—and all your schemes to save up extra cash so you can go back to visit Location A will become less intense. Your skin, by the way, is healthy and glowing.

Year 2: You’ve settled in and are finding your groove. It’s smooth sailing, but occasional exfoliation may be necessary and don’t forget the sunblock.

Year 3: One of two things will happen. Either you will be ready to move on to the next place—at this point the itch will be breaking out in full force—or you will meet your soul mate and/or bosom buddy. Oh the irony. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a really close friend about 9 months before we must inevitably separate. Fortunately, some of those friends are still really close…one of the upsides of relationship-building with a ticking timer in the background.

When the timer goes off, take a deep breath and let cool for about 5 minutes, then repeat.

I’d love to hear the thoughts of those who’ve had similar experiences! 🙂