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Military Mom Realizations on Life and Military Brat Memories
Today I have been painting my son’s old room; more accurately I am painting over the spots of his childhood room. The room is going to stay the same warm golden color without the dirty hand prints and marks of his childhood antics. The kids and I moved us into this house we built while Jim was on cruise. My son has lived in this room since the summer of 2009. This is the longest he has ever had the same room.
When we moved into this house …
When we moved into this house, I did my best to decorate the kids’ bedrooms in very personalized ways. After all, our military brats Memories should be happy ones when they picture home. Our son wanted his room to be decorated to remind him of Germany. I wasn’t exactly certain how to do that. So, I painted his room the warm gold color and got him red sheets and black comforters for his bunk beds. On the walls I hung his German flag, our cuckoo clock and truly German knick knacks that I purchased at the Markethalle in Stuttgart. As an eight year old, he loved his German room. Now that he is fifteen, he is ready for a change.
Time for a Change
Our son and daughter have agreed to swap rooms. We have painted her turquoise a gray in search of a “modern industrial” look. Once again, he seems pleased with his room.
Now … Mom is working on redoing his old room for his sister. We are going to keep it the same warm golden color. However, she is going to use her blue modern flowered comforter and it will be lovely. Once again, someone will be happy with this room. Yet, there are some steps to take in the mean time.
Some spots have needed to be dealt with before now probably but … now is when we are getting to them. The carpets have needed to be cleaned. That has now been done. (The Bissell Pet Formula is a good friend of mine when we talk cleaning products and our military life.) Remarkably, the carpets look pretty good.
Today I mixed up the remainder of the paint for that room and started to cover the handprints from around the light switches and other places. Suddenly it occurred to me that I was painting over childhood memories of my son’s life from 2nd grade through 9th grade. We moved him across the hall and not to another zip code. This felt weird.
Moving On with Military Brat Memories
When I drift back in memories of my kids’ children, I am transported back in time to different duty stations. We were in the same place for the first part of our daughter’s young life and the older years of our son’s life. Our daughter was born and was a toddler in Texas. Then, we moved to our first house in Lemoore. We left that house after she finished fourth grade and as our son was about to turn three. So, you can see his toddler memories were from that house.
We have always PCSed from our kids ages and stages memories. For example, our son was preschool/early school years and our daughter’s middle school years were when we were stationed in Germany. It is odd for us to be in a house this long. This is one part of retired military life that I had not contemplated previously.
The Toughest Part
One thing is definite whether you are a military mom on the move or sitting still, change happens. We have to find the strength to see the beauty of each childhood stage and duty station while you are in those places. Then, you have to find the grace to let them go and embrace more change. It seems easier to do when the changes are imposed on you with new orders than when you have to realize that a stage or age has changed because you are sitting still.
My Military Brats Memories should be good ones of being happy at home. Whatever childhood memories come to mind for them, I hope they come from happy places in their past. Looking at pictures of our furniture in so many different locations and arrangements helps to take us to the places and the ages/stages of our kids at the time. I am kind of glad that I haven’t had to paint over all our military brats memories.
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