There is never a boring year in the life of a military family. While we didn’t move this year, we still lived through excitement and many changes.
This year I’ve had all three boys at home. While my husband is often busy with work, I find myself playing the role of a single parent. This wears on me at times, to be honest. My boys wear me out, too. While frustrated this year, I’ve had to remind myself several times to cherish my boys while we have them.
Next year my oldest son will head off to college. After attending 12 schools, he will leave our home and enter college at the University of Texas-Austin. After all he’s overcome as a deaf student, constantly moving from town to town, I’m very excited that he’ll be starting a new life as a Longhorn! Hooah!
I can’t even begin to think about where we’ll be living next year without thinking about how far we’ll be from him, though. I dread getting used to new routines next year without him at home. Our house will be much quieter, but I will miss the excitement that he brings to the home, too.
Living on post, seven out of my nine neighbors moved this year. We had a very happy equilibrium one moment, then within a matter of weeks we had almost all new neighbors. The new families on our street are great. But the habits and routines we had established with the old crew have changed, as we work again to build and maintain new friendships.
Never knowing what next year may bring, we may even be one of the families who pulls up roots and moves to yet another posting. As military families, we learn how to meet people quickly, and work to establish and maintain relationships. I’m not sure if this is normal in the “civilian world,” the speed with which we military families say “hello” and “good bye” to our friends.
As a military family, we’ve been fortunate to have many resources available to us. Over the years my family has taken advantage of different Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs (FMWR).
In this past year we’ve personally taken advantage of services from Fort Hood’s School Liaison Office, Exceptional Family Member Program, hunting, paintball and other recreation programs. These and other programs helped us better enjoy our military life, through all of the changes that come our way with moves and deployments.
Over the next 12 months, I’ll be interested to see whether these and other resources change, or if some may even be downsized. Our military forces locally and throughout the Army are being cut back in size. I’m wondering if the slower deployment tempo and smaller number of troops will translate to cutbacks in family resources.
We are constantly living with changes in our lives. Some of these changes affect our personal family lives, our network of friends, and the resources available to us.
In an effort to remain positive through whatever comes my way in 2016, I shall remember the words from Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’”