Essentially, my first glimpse into the "family" aspect of military life, was a very promising one. And at risk of sounding corny - okay maybe not even at risk, I DEFINITELY will sound corny - I have only been constantly surprised and overwhelmed by how amazing the military spouse sisterhood has been.
There is something just so unique and special about military spouse friendships. Here's what I'm thankful for...
For opening your door WHENEVER, WHEREVER
Another time, my nephew Ethan was considering West Point for college, and my good friend Kahlee and her husband, Chris, had us over. Did I mention it was the day after Thanksgiving, they had family over, and Kahlee was 6 months pregnant and has a young son? Chris proceeded to give us an absolutely amazing tour of the campus - one that left my nephew in love with the school - all on his day off. That's how military life works, or at least, it should always work. When you're physically separated from your family at home - your friends become your family away from home. I know my friend's doors are always open, and I'm not sure there's a better feeling in friendship, than that.
For joining in the excitement
For the Adventures
For being a Mentor
Back to the story: Being one to never turn down party planning, I was all about it. I'll never forget how helpful and awesome our FRG leader, Julie, was. She turned something a bit overwhelming into something that felt like a breeze. It helps that she has a killer sense of humor and a much-appreciated, laid-back demeanor. I'll also never forget Theresa, a seriously STELLAR "veteran" mil-spouse, showing up and being so much fun AND super helpful. Remember when I said I was originally intimidated? Within an hour of meeting her, she told me she would love to grab lunch sometime and talk more, whenever I wanted to. Not gonna lie, I was seriously touched and kind of felt like a celebrity just invited me to hang out (I'm sure she will get a kick out of reading this). I am still in touch with both Julie and Theresa to this day. My point: Military spouses come from all walks of life, all stages of the Army journey - never discredit the friendship you can have, and the insight/support you can gleam, just because someone isn't on the same metaphorical page as you.
For waiting right along side me
It is SO helpful to have a friend who understands the waiting game, who can countdown with you, commiserate over how much time is left, or rejoice in how fast time is going. I'm not one to roll my eyes at non-military spouse friends being upset over their significant other "going away for three days on a business trip". LISTEN - any time apart from the one you love is hard. So I don't judge - I get it. BUT, it is very helpful when you have someone who understands what extended separation feels like. And lemme tell ya, at times it feels like stepping on 65 legos at once.
For worrying with me
For knowing my kids, like your kids - and vice versa
...and actually helping me document our lives
For Celebrating With Me
There are so many instances like this. Got that dream duty station? Got that dream job? Husband get that promotion? Happy because you found out you were pregnant or happy because you found out you WEREN'T pregnant (because, sleep)? We tell each other as soon as we have good news, and we understand that achievements in both the military and as a military family, are often those that come a bit harder than to most families. Dream duty stations are few and far between, getting a dream job as a military spouse is about as common as a white buffalo, promotions in the military are super competitive, and actually having your spouse around enough to TRY to get pregnant (should you want to) is always a fun and interesting game to play. Regardless, we celebrate them together and cheer each another on. Cue "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler, guys. Can you hear it playing in the background?
for the sources of endless laughter
for simply being there
So thank you, my beautiful, wonderful, crazy, hysterical, rockstar friends.Thanks for getting it, thanks for living it, and thanks for being in the domestic trenches of military life with me. My door is always open.