Find Your Tribe

20160517_112504  While I am still considered a “cool” mom in my son’s eyes, I’ll cherish the moments I get to have lunch with him. Last year I tried to eat lunch with him at least once a week, but with my work schedule this year, our lunch dates were few and far between. I especially love to surprise him with lunch when I can. At my last school lunch with my son this year, my head was spinning as I was making my way out of the cafeteria. As I closed the door in my car and drove away from McCool Elementary, I started to cry.20141009_172128
Seems like good-bye or see you later is the theme song for our life. I thought about my son and his life thus far on Earth. He was born on an island ten years ago and left America three days after he turned five. His school years have been spent in Italy, Portugal, Guam and now he will be going into his fourth school district, when we move to Monterey in June. 20150402_133600
 Military kids may get to see and experience many adventures and cultures in their lives, but the ugly side isn’t really put on display for the world to see. 20151031_171615
I can’t put into words exactly what it’s like living as a military child, so I won’t go there. I don’t feel like being an emotional mess today since my son is officially out of school, due to our upcoming transition from island life to stateside life, and he is currently watching me. I will just say, they can say good-bye a lot.IMG_20160503_133101
It is good to find a tribe when you have to move around. It makes new places more fun, but it can be a bit like speed dating for adults or parents. Trying to find an emergency contact for enrollment forms for school, a person that oh, look, we have a kid the same age, I wonder if our kids will mesh? That lady is funny. She seems like she would be fun to enjoy a glass of wine with. The same thing many parents go through, but the start-over process is more frequent and tiring for adults than for our kids in this military lifestyle.DSC_0641
For me, I have a scattered tribe. So does my son. I am thankful that my son and I live in this day and age as a military spouse and child. We can keep in touch with the people who have become a part of our hearts more easily, then the people who lived this lifestyle a few decades ago could.IMG_20160503_141402
When it comes to extra-curricular activities I try to find ones that can travel with my son as we move from place to place it makes transitioning a bit easier.DSCF0231
Activities like Tennis.DSC_0757
Martial Arts.
Surfing from Portugal to Guam.DSC_959520151205_143947
Snorkeling and Free diving.DSCF0247
Skiing. Which my boys can’t wait, to hit the slopes again once we move off the island.DSC_4412
Oh and I can’t forget Golf. My husband and son are going to be in heaven, surrounded by golf courses, when we move to California. 11698637_1093101804052364_8079189916288961666_n
I believe in introducing my kid to lots of different cultures and activities. Not a myriad of activities in one season though. I don’t want to burn him out. For our family, it is encouraging our son to pick activities that can move with him everywhere and continue throughout his life.DSC_0675
We are not into ones that may have you sitting on the bench, while the “local” kids that grew up in the same town and tribe, their whole life, are playing the field or the court. 20150430_164359 Mayer’s dad was, well still is, a {futbol} aka soccer fanatic. So you’d think our son might follow in his father’s footsteps and embrace the sport like the Europeans and his dad?DSC_1150
Our son quickly let us know, after playing a season on the island of Guam, it is just not his thing. Not right now. Kids playing in the scorching sun, while parents sit on the sidelines under umbrellas watching their offspring play, felt torturous to me. One mother told me they will be on top of the game and more conditioned as they grow and move back to stateside life. Maybe so, if they do not have heat stroke along the way? And to each their own, but our son won’t be playing soccer during the eternal season of summer on Guam. I think all soccer games should be moved to nighttime on this island. Just my opinion. My husband and I believe that humans need to do what they love, not what their parents would love for them to do. Life is short and if you don’t like something, give it a chance, finish what you signed up for, for that season, but you don’t have to make it a lifetime commitment. Especially so early on in life.IMG_20141022_171136
 If you find your tribe of friends through sports, art, reading, cooking, singing or playing an instrument, FANTASTIC. If you find a tribe of kids that have different values then you, and you enjoy their company, have fun! You will learn something and be able to give your parents the opportunity to teach you on how different each family operates. Because when you grow up, you will see that there is not one way to do things. I believe kids should be kids and enjoy their childhood while they can because it goes by so fast.20151107_140432
My son found his tribe while living on the island of Guam. They laughed, they loved, they fought and they got in trouble. Friendships can be a lifetime or they can be for a season. If you don’t find your tribe, it is fine too. All you need is one good friend to be there for you, and you for them. It may be hard to make it a habit to have a weekly tribal meeting but as friendships change and tribes move on, thankfully memories remain. At least in photos… 20151029_172326

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *