13 April 2010

Things I Need to Say

As I start writing this blog post it is 12:38 am.  Yes, A.M.  Why am I up so late?

1.  I've always been a night owl.  Some might consider me a vampire.  I'd rather sleep all morning and be up all night.
2.  My beautiful daughter who has been dealing with teething and a really, really horrible allergy season slept until 10:15 this/yesterday morning.  This allowed me to sleep until about 10.  So all that extra sleep has made me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed way into the night.

Now back to the "things".  To some of you this might be mindless, middle-of-the-night rambling.  Whatever it is, it is what it is!

The first topic is something that happened in my hometown "hood" over the weekend.  For the whole story, you can go here.  It's all over the headlines.  Technically it isn't really my hometown "hood".  What I consider my real hometown is a quirky place inside the Indianapolis city limits called Broad Ripple.  I spent the first 15 years of my life living in this yuppie/artsy funky-ness/skater punk, i.e. eclectic area of town.  I loved it.  I spend the last 6 yrs of my Indiana life in Carmel.  However, my parents and my two younger siblings have called Carmel home for the past 20 yrs.  So, anyway...over the weekend two 15-yr-old boys were killed when the car they were traveling in and driven by another 15-yr-old left the road after a chase, crashed into a utility pole and exploded into flames.  The driver got out alive - before the car caught fire.  One of the earliest articles at the newspaper's website included a comment from a mother who also has a child at the HS there.  I don't have the exact quote but she said something along the lines of - the police should've just taken down the license number instead of pursuing the teenagers.  I may make some people mad when I say this but, yeah, right.  That's real logic.  Well, I think I need to give a bit more background story.  The police officer was on patrol and the teenagers were clocked doing 13 miles per hr over the speed limit.  The police officer then attempted to pull said car over for the traffic/speeding violation where the chase then ensued.  I don't think the police officer knew they were teenagers and if he did how was he supposed to know they were unlicensed?  The comment made by the parent definitely pushed my button because she is pointing the blame at the police officer who was just doing his job.  If he had left them alone and just run the license plate number, they still might have been in an accident or even hit another car and killed someone else.  Also, there have been comments left about the article putting blame on the police officer as well.  Not all comments but enough to irritate me like sand inside your bathing suit.  It is a tragedy.  I totally get that and don't disagree with it.  I have a cousin who is in the same freshman class as these boys were.  She may have even had classes with them.  But, these kids had some idea of what the consequences could be if they got caught joy-riding without licenses.  It happened to a friend of mine who was out driving with a permit, not a license and was pulled over in the same city because she had a burned out tail light.  I'm pretty sure she got a warning that if she got caught again, she would not be able to get her license until she was 18.  Her dad had to come get her and the car.  Where was she going?  To my house to pick me up.  We were going to cruise over to someone else's house and hang out.  I'm sure if as my parents and my in-laws read this they will be mortified.  I never said I was perfect.  I did plenty of stupid things as a teenager.  I'm guessing most of us did.  And if you didn't, well good for you.   So what was the entire point of the story?  I'm utterly fed up with parents of irresponsible kids putting the blame on someone else instead of saying the kids made a horrible mistake.  And the 15 yr-old driver will have to live with this the rest of his life.  His two friends died because he decided not to pull the car over and face the consequences of his decision to drive a car without a license.  The consequences would've been far less severe if he had done the right thing and pulled over.  If I had been with my friend when she was pulled over, one of my parents would've had to come get me and I would've been punished never allowed to see the light of day again.  But we would not have led the police on a chase that could've left one or both of us dead.  I attribute that to fact that both her parents and my parents taught us that when we choose to do wrong, we accept the consequences of our action rather than try to run from them.  Mom & Dad, I thank you for that and I was in the wrong a lot as a teenager no matter how many times I thought I knew better than you.  But because of your teachings, as an adult I realize that what you taught me and the consequences I had to face when I chose wrong, made me a better person and definitely a better adult.  Not to mention a better parent.  As I stand in your shoes raising my own kids I still learn plenty from you and will until God takes you from this world.  I am so very sorry for all the times I hurt you not only as a child/teenager, but also as an adult (I'm sure there will be times in the future I will too) and know that when Eriks screams nasty things at us (I'm sure Emi will as well) when they get in trouble, as an adult I pray that they too are thankful for us teaching them what is right and what is wrong and can apologize for the things they thought they knew better than Lane and I.  I also want to thank you for being my PARENT instead of my friend.  Most parents are way better role models than your friends are anyway.  By the way readers, that last part was very emotional to write and as I get ready to jump to my next topic I'm blowing my nose and wiping my tears.

Next mindless ramble now that it's 1:12 am :-)

I love my hubby and kids (most of the time).  I have put up with military move after military move for about 14 yrs now.  I however, after 16 months, am still not fond of Hotlanta.  This is not where I expected to finish out my career as a military wife.  To be honest for the past 2 assignment cycles, I had been hoping for a place closer to home (aka Scott AFB).  It's 4 1/2 hrs from home.  The closest we've lived to home you ask?  Eight hours by car.  Now that we have 2 kids, it is about a 9 hour drive because of extra stops needing to be made.  We are not on a military base.  Lane is working a contract job.  That is code for, a military person has to be doing said job amongst civilians.  I'm sure you're wondering why am I having such a hard time.  Don't get me wrong, I know plenty 'o people here, but no one I spend time with on any consistent basis.  I like regular companionship with people that are not my husband and kids.  I NEED a life outside of the one I have with them.  I'm partially to blame for my situation.  But in my defense, since bringing Emi home from China last summer I have been overwhelmed with testing, surgeries, Dr's appointments, speech & hearing therapy, soccer, gymnastics and karate to name a few that when I have 5 minutes time to myself, I'm trying channel my creative outlet or decompress so my sanity returns. 

I'm assuming that most civilians know that the military moves people around.  A lot.  When you're on the move every 3 yrs and you get moved to a place that has maybe a dozen military people working in one place it's hard to get into a circle.  I'm finding a lot of people I'm meeting have been friends since their kids were itty bitty or since at least preschool.  We're here for another 14 months and then retirement.  My son won't go through grade school with all the kids in his kindergarten class.  He'll have to start over in another school next fall (2011).  In many ways I'm thankful that we didn't have kids until almost 8 yrs into our marriage because our kids won't have to deal with making friends for a few years and then having to move and make new ones over and over.  And they won't have to deal with the changing schools every 3 yrs and trying to fit in...again.  I know kids are resillient and have an easier time transitioning and making new friends.  I can tell you with near 100% certainty that it isn't always the case.  Although Eriks has some friends, he has had a hard time fitting in.  He's actually said on numerous occasions that he really does not like living here.  He either wants to go back to where we lived before or to live with my parents in Indiana.  We are renting a house in a neighborhood where there aren't many kids his age.  We are lucky to have 2 little boys his age across the street.  One of whom is in is class at school.  But they too have their own goings on.  They have lots of family and friends here and Eriks doesn't play with them all the time.  But I am glad that they are there and he's not completely lonely.

The conclusion that I am coming to is that most civilians, and please don't take this personally if you are one reading this post, have no clue what military life is like and therefore may not know how to relate.  When you're military and you move to a new base the first few questions usually asked are:
"Where did you move from?", "What group/organization/squadron does your spouse work for?", "Do you have children?"  The one's I've been asked when I've met new people here are: "Do you have kids?", "Do you live near by?", "What does your husband do?"  And usually when I utter these 4 little words to answer that last question, "He's in the military," I either get one of two responses - "Oh." or a semi-blank stare.  As a military wife, when you end up at a new base, it's a lot easier to fit in because you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll find more than one person who is in your shoes.  They completely understand what your life is like.  Here in the civilian world, not so much.  They don't understand when your husband calls at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Monday and says, "I have to go to (fill-in-the-blank) tomorrow (there are times we'll get 2 days or more notice) and you just have go with the flow.  Even when your cursing the military under your breath because there's something you really wanted to do and can't because you have to take care of the kiddos while your spouse is gone.  A decent chunk of military life is lived on the fly.  You never know what tomorrow will bring.  You just pray that on the days your hubby has to be away, you can survive without needing a straight jacket upon hubby's return.  In my case, my kiddos know when daddy is away they will be extra rotten and emotionally draining good.  I dread those days.  I also dread the days where hubby would normally work reasonable hours but ends up putting in a 12 hr day and comes home as I'm putting kids to bed and lusting for a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage to cap off my chaotic day.

Being a military wife in a civilian world also has its good.  It's shown me that life after retirement is going to be seriously different.  I'm experiencing a bit of it most of it now.  I have no base to go to.  No wives group to be a member of.  No squadron get togethers.  It's just me having to figure things out on my own without a group of gals I can complain to about how military life can suck sometimes and get what I'm talking about.

I have made some good GREAT friends along this bumpy and ever changing game called life.  One of them I will be seeing for the first time in 4 1/2 yrs next week when I visit her in Vegas.  That is one of the greatest gifts this experience has given me.  We may change addresses every 3 or so years, but we stay in contact with one another as time goes on and when we do get together again, we pick up right where we left off.  Almost as though nothing has changed since we saw one another last.  Well, almost.  There might be a few more kids in the picture.  A few fine lines on our faces and a few gray hairs in our heads (from all the grief our kids give us and the stresses our husband's job puts on us).  Other than that...  So if you're a civilian out there and you're reading my post.  My very LONG post that you very well could've just skimmed through and you meet someone like me who won't be around for long, we still need friends.  Us military wives can sometimes be the best friends you will find because we've been through the whole "been there, done that" A LOT and we learn how to make friends for life no matter where the road may take us next.  We're talented like that.

 And now that it is WAY, WAY, WAY past my bedtime, I'm saying... so long, fair well, auf wiedersehen, good night!

4 comments:

  1. Happy UBP10 Party!!! The linkys up there are insane, I cannot possibly visit everyone. So glad, I found yours. I am now a follower, you can also follow my blog at www.safehomehappymom.com

    Have a great week!!! Lets finish this party!

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  2. La-La-Liene... I'm hugging you my newly found sister in military life. You put all of that SO well! The places that I have lived have been military communities, but over the years, I've found myself partaking in the lifestyle less and less, if I can help it... I have what I consider to be one good friend here (and we've been here 8 months). It has just seemingly become more difficult to transition, for me at least, over the years and with each subsequent move.

    I'm glad you came by my blog, and I will definitely be following you. You can, then, tell me about the wonderful adventure known as civilian life when you get out a couple of years before us. lol

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  3. I'm not a military wife, but we moved to a military town and I was so impressed with how quickly everyone became my best friends, it was such an open town! Loved it! And miss it! Found you through UBP

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  4. OK! I get the be a parent and not a friend and I would really really be your friend if you moved here! Actually I would love to meet you one day as we say and do alot of the same things. Perhaps it is the non American roots.
    Hope Emi's teeth are giving her less grief today.
    P.S. Lily doesn't like living here either and a a mother that kills me.

    ReplyDelete

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