Dandelions aren’t usually the most prized flowers – they aren’t a beautiful rose or a simple daisy. Dandelions are most often seen as weeds that ruin the appearance of an otherwise beautifully green lawn. I’ve never seen them like that. I have always views them as wish-granters. When I found out, after having my own military children, that dandelions were the official flower of the military child, I grinned. It was fitting and here is why…
The Dandelion – The Official Flower of the Military Child
Written by an unknown author:
“The official flower of the military child is the dandelion. Why? The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it’s almost impossible to destroy. It’s an unpretentious plant, yet good looking. It’s a survivor in a broad range of climates. Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them. They are hardy and upright. Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They’re ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.
Experts say that military children are well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant, and extremely resilient. Military children have learned from an early age that home is where their hearts are, that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world, and that education doesn’t only come from school. They live history. They learn that to survive means to adapt, that the door that closes one chapter of their life opens up to a new and exciting adventure full of new friends and new experiences.”
Am I the only military spouse & mama to get goosebumps from reading that? Sometimes I cry for and with my children when Daddy leaves…again. I cry when my preschooler asks if Daddy is coming home yet…again. She squeezes her Daddy Doll firmly. We read countless military kid books. I grin ear to ear when my one year old calls his daddy “dada” for the first time on the day of his homecoming. My heart hurts for the day that I have to tell my kids to say goodbye to another set of friends and to pack their bags – we’re moving again.
But, I am also so proud of my kids. They travel very well. My kids amaze me with how resilient they are and how flexible they’ve become. To them, normal is change. “Hometown” will not mean the same to them as a civilian child. To a military child, hometown means many thing – family, the dirt collections (from different homes), a marked map, change. Let’s celebrate our kiddos and the Month of the Military child this April.
The military child did not choose this life. My spouse and I chose this life – this life was chosen for them. Yet, they are happy and one day when they are older, I hope they are proud. They survive deployments, moves, TDYs, and more. There are many reasons I love being a military spouse, but one of those reasons is because of how strong it makes my children. I just hope they understand the sacrifices we made and I hope they feel strong and resilient like a Dandelion.