Here is what the ladies of the Cummings Family had to say about military life.
Genevieve, age 7
“The good and bad about being a military kid is we have to move a lot. Moving is hard work, seriously. You have to pack up all your things and say goodbye to friends and then make new friends. There is a lot of sitting in the car or the airport and wait and wait and wait when you have to move across the country or around the world. But it is fun to meet different people and make new friends. And it is fun getting to go different places and live in new houses. And then your dad has to go away a lot. I don’t like that part of being a military kid. But when Dad is home, we get to do things together, and I like that a lot.”
Annabelle, age 5
“Well, being a military kid means you make new friends and you can hear the bombs from Daddy’s work. You have to live a long ways away from your family and if you want to see them, you have use the computer to talk to them, or ride on an airplane, or ride in the car for a long long time. I like getting to live in different places, and go do fun things. Being a military kid is the best.”
Lauren, proud Navy wife and mom
“We are a family of six, and we are a successful, well-adjusted military family. With all the excitement and stress that comes from military life, we try to keep things simple and calm on the home front… as simple and calm as you can with 4 kids and a neurotic dog in tow.
I knew from the moment I met my husband what I was in for. We dated for almost 5 years, 4 of which were long distance. My husband claims he was testing me to make sure I could handle the lifestyle. I like to think I passed with flying colors.
By nature, I am a planner and researcher, but I have learned to also be flexible. I try not to stress about the next PCS, or the next deployment, or the 18 month work up that leads to that deployment. It is my job to keep my family happy and functioning. I am under the mindset we will make the best of any situation, and when you stop worrying and stressing, you can focus on all the positives and create lasting memories in otherwise difficult times. My family is my job, and they are my number one priority.
When I first started to think about the question, “What is it like to be a military family?” I asked my daughters, 7 and 5 their thoughts on the subject. They talked about moving and saying goodbye to old friends, but getting to make new friends. It made me feel good they did not have really any negative comments on the subject. I also had to agree with them. Moving is probably the biggest hardship on our family. When I think of moving, I immediately go into research and planning mode. I need to find all there is to know about a potential hometown. I want to know the houses, the school districts, the preschools, and activities, etc. What is the best transition for my kids, and how does that line up with my husband’s report date? I look at it like a big puzzle and I need to figure out how to make all the pieces fit together. That can take some doing when you have 4 kids.
As for everyday life, we try to be quite normal and stick with a routine. We eat dinner as a family, we do activities as a family, we explore and we plan outings as a family. When our service member happens to be working away from home for extended periods of time, we try not to disrupt our daily lives. We make the necessary adjustments and include him through pictures, videos, and daily chats via the web.
I am immensely proud of my children. They have only known the way of the military child, and handle it with style and grace. They have made friends for life, as have I. The military has afforded us the opportunity to experience the world many would never see in a lifetime. And while we make great sacrifices by being a military family, we appreciate the time we are together, the friendships we have forged, and the world at our doorstep.”
Genevieve and Annabelle at a Daddy-Daughter dance