Thursday, March 4, 2010

Centrality of being a military dependent??

My dear friend Diana wrote a post about being a military brat. She titled it using the word "centrality" and that got me thinking.

Therefore, being the good teacher that I am, I looked up the definition. Centrality means, "vital, critical or important position." I think it all depends on how you look at the word. Is it vital for our world that we play this role? Is it vital that people understand the role we play? Is it vital for us that we are this role?

For me, I think it was vital that I play that role. I was a military dependent (can't use the word brat - don't like it) for 21 years. I loathed it. I loved it. I rebelled against it. I embraced with everything I had. I was a typical child. I both loved the adventures and luxuries it gave us and despised the label it gave me.

I couldn't be more grateful for the experiences.

For me, the problem has been that people do not understand the inherent feeling of restlessness and longing for change that has permeated my way of life.

I find it funny and ironic. I work with girls, helping them to break the box of "Girl World" because I completely understand what it is like to be both inside and outside of the box. Had I not had the opportunity to be all the different roles I played (because I had the chance to move and recreate) I couldn't do what I do with the empathy and sympathy that I have.

I also wrote about my experience here.

For that reason alone I am eternally grateful.

I have had to remind my father that I am grateful. While I agree that as military families we make sacrifices that many people do not understand or cannot relate I am most appreciative of one of the greatest sacrifices my father made for me. He understood, not to the extent he does now, the life-long impact (both good & bad) his career has on me.

When we moved to Germany, my junior year, I had already been to two different high schools on two different continents. When 3rd AF closed at the end of my junior year my father had an opportunity to be SJA at Mildenhall. Although my father never wanted to be general and had taken the SJA spots that would be best for our family, this was a great position. I remember hearing my father and his then wife talking about this job. . .

I had made up my mind that we were not going to Mildenhall and decided the next day I would tell him. In all of my 17 year old glory I walked into his dressing room. I will NEVER forget the scene. He was sitting on a chair polishing his boots. He was using a wooden brush, a scene I had seen him do hundreds of times. I told him my feelings on the matter of moving to England and I will never forget his response. (Keep in mind that he hardly ever raised his voice and never, ever got in my face.) The wooden brush hit the wooden floors and in a flash he was up and in my face. He said, "you will move when I tell you to move and where I tell you to move." End of conversation. Check.

However, that was not the end of the story. My father got it. The centrality of his life was being a father. He saw that for me, one of the important position of my life was being his daughter - a military child. It was who I was. It was how I was defined. He gave me the opportunity, for this one year, to perhaps still be outside the box but no longer the outsider. He declined the SJA job in England and was deputy SJA USAFE until he took his final job stateside. I never understood, until I could reflect upon this utterly selfless act, how much this one decision shaped and gave me such a framework for the work I do now.

It allowed me to relate as both the outsider and finally an insider. Something I am not sure I would have had in my teenage years. Something that gives me a unique perspective to work with high school girls.

I am defined as many things: wife, mother, teacher, confidant. All true. All great roles. But for me, one of the greatest things that defines me and explains who I am and why I do what I do because I had the opportunity to be my father's daughter.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eye doctor, puff this!

There are things I don't like doing: cleaning the bathrooms, riding roller coasters, to name two. However, I would rather have another c-section, abdominal surgery than go to the eye doctor. I draw the line, however, at having a NG tube removed or the kidney stones (another day, another nightmare, another post).

I needed to go to the eye doctor as it had been two years, my 12 month prescription of contacts was a bit past its prime and I was certain I needed an update! The problem, though, is that I hate going to the eye doctor. I the puff test. Who cares if I have glaucoma? I mean, yes it is terrible, but I am willing to take my chances.

The last time I was at the eye doctor, preparing myself for the puff test - crying, cursing and begging later we just skipped that part. Well and good.

However, I decided in my infinite wisdom that I would find a new eye doctor one closer to my house. It was no small feat trying to find a place that took my insurance. Finally, I scored. Dr. G. was the lucky winner. After going round and round about my insurance or lack their of (apparently my name never got changed after I married 7 years ago) we had an appointment set. I decided at that time to explain that I would not be doing the puff test. Nice receptionist said she would tell the doctor. Nice receptionist called back and said that was fine, as long I as I would allow them to dilate my eyes. Nope. I told, now less than nice receptionist, that I would not be doing that either. We hung up. She called back. No go. The doctor has some type of ethical issue and won't see me if I won't do those things. Well, umph.

I can wear these contacts for another year OR as my husband just suggested go back to the old place. The ideas this man has. . .

Never the one to give up on making sure I have contacts at my disposal I made one more phone call. However, this time I volunteered no information.

I might mention that my husband had recently been to the eye doctor (his first appointment in over 20 years! & last) and they had a new device that takes a picture of your eye BUT it is really freaky and costs extra. When he said it was freaky, that was good enough for me.

10:30 am, this past Monday, I met my Waterloo. I filled-out the forms. Declined the dilation. Check. Declined the freaky picture thing. Check. The nice technician took me back and asked how I was. Don't ask if you don't want to know. I told her about my issue to puff.

Well, is that all it took? The nice lady said, "we don't do that here." I was amazed. She said that the doctor had another machine and she would just look in my eye. All the choirs of angels sang together!!! Whoo-hoo.


The doctor came in. We talked, she said the technician had told her I was scared and that everything was fine. We wouldn't be doing anything like that. Great.

Eyes checked. Subscription checked. We are good.

Then it happened. The doctor, quick as fire, comes up next to me with an eyedropper (what was she thinking) and says just to lean back. As if.

I ask her what she is doing and she says that she has numbing drops. Cue the tears, heavy breathing and hand on chest. She stands there. Watching.

A good 30 seconds later I have a moment of clarity. Why do you need to numb my eye. She replied, "I am going to use that probe . . ." I haven't a clue what she said next b/c I heard: eye, numb, probe. Nuff said.


After about 2 or 20 minutes of crying she said, "I will just markdown declined by patient." I said, "you do that."

I have new contacts. At the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Funny things Fin shared over Christmas

One of the traditions we have is that at Thanksgiving & Christmas, after dinner, we share/answer different questions/thoughts. Finley's question was: "We are fortunate. What would you give to a less fortunate child during this season of giving?" Finley answered, "Pierce." Her brother. Great.

We read the traditional Christmas Story, every year. This year, when I got to the part where they laid Jesus in the manger, I asked Finley what was in the manger and she said, "the partridge." Great. We are getting our Christmas stories mixed.

It is probably no coincidence that Baby Jesus is MIA from the veggie-tale nativity scene. I'm just saying. We have three nativities but this particular one seems to always be a player or two short.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

1. The little one poured syrup, from our V-Day Breakfast, all over the kitchen floor. I am not sure who was in-charge, but he proved himself master of his domain.

2. They have turned my formal, beautiful dining room into their own personal baby land. They have taken all the pillows off my bed (not that they were clean, anyway) and have lined the walls with them and their babies.

3. Pierce is wearing a H-Ween Kitty shirt, it belongs to Finley. . .

4. I am going to wax something today. I am really hoping I don't seal anything closed. . .

Friday, February 13, 2009

to the cross i must go

And then He speaks. I might be easily identified as obsessed with the things I do. I just like to call it on-top of things. I can't let go of the most spirit-filled place I have ever been - FBCSA. My time at First Baptist Church SA was by far the most rewarding. I know that nothing happens independent of our Lord. . . Many years ago I sang this song with the choir and heard God clearly when I saw they would be singing it this Sunday. . . No one at that church knows the road which I am walking at this moment - I keep some things to myself and those closest here BUT He knows that I need to go, "To The Cross."

A place inside my spirit beckons from a hill,
Sometimes I choose to visit, sometimes against my will.
I take the long and sloping road while underneath a heavy load;
And driven by a prayer I go to the cross.
Whenever I resist it I am not at rest;
It hovers there inviting me to be a humble guest.
I need it daily, this I know. So, with my selfish tears in tow,
And with my fighting fears, I go to the cross.
And there I lay them down for the Savior‟s love;
Because He gave His flawless life, I take it up.
And so I will determine this cross to be my friend,
And I will bear it in my heart until my pride is dead.
Part of me will tell it "no", but Christ was there before me
So I‟ll follow faithfully and go to the cross.
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

hello body, catch up

I am pissed. I like to think that I am not, but I am. Today hit me like a wave pool. I totally went into the deep end and I was not expecting to rush over me like that.

Has my body not realized I am not pregnant, yet? It is one thing to be pregnant and have no control over your body. However, it is another thing to NOT be pregnant and have no control over what I can do with my body. I don't begrudge people that are pregnant. Not.At.All.

I truly am so happy people are able to enjoy the most fabulous experience - motherhood. However, I am pissed that I am having to understand what lesson is to be learned here, again. I know I don't serve a vengeful God, but really?

Were the first two miscarriages not enough? Did I not learn my lesson well enough? BTW, I still don't know what lesson that was. So, for this pregnancy, we waited until we were further along AND then - we added insult to injury?

Also, because I try my best not to tick my husband off at EVERY turn I make, I don't announce my pregnancies. I don't think people should. Well, of course, I tell my very best friends but not my family. Not other people. I get it. It is easier to me to go later and tell them I need their help than have to go and tell everyone I ever blinked at that - no, I am no longer pregnant and here are the sordid, bloody (pun, rudely intended) details.

I am pissed because I gained weight with this pregnancy and now I still have the weight gain, but no baby.

I am pissed that I am melancholy.

I know, know, know that I am so blessed. I have 2 healthy children. I know some people can't even get pregnant, thank you for that reminder, Mr. Radiologist. I know that I am getting older - 29, thank you for that reminder, Mr. OBGYN/AKA Joey - from "Full House." I have a great husband. I have a fantastic career. I have a wonderful home. I have a supportive and crazy family. I have the greatest friends money could buy - they could be bought. I get it. I know.

What I don't get? Why does this keep happening and what is the bigger story to be learned?

Tomorrow is another day and the sun will rise. . . or at least the wine cork!

Monday, September 8, 2008

we keep mowing and mowing

I mowed the lawn.

I am putting the baby to sleep.

Must run.