MKs are missionary kids. So I have 4 MKs under my roof. Because we minister to the military, my girls have a unique perspective on things. For example, they don't often see elderly people or disabled people. Most people in our community are young and fit and ready for active duty service. I'll never forget the time Zoe saw an older American man and said way too loudly, "Mommy, why does that man have really white hair?!"
They play house all the time, as little girls often do. However, in their make believe there is always a war happening somewhere and the dad in the game is "off at war." This is indeed true of many of their friends.
The other day Zoe came across a riddle that said, "What do you make more of, the more you leave behind?" And she answered, "Friends?" All our friends leave. They live here for about 2 to 3 years and then everyone moves to America never to be seen again. The real answer is "footprints," but I thought Zoe's answer was truer to our lives.
Today we went to the Consulate to renew Hannah's passport and last week we spent time at Immigration to renew my Japanese re-entry permit (can't get back into Japan if I ever leave without one of those!). Our kids are very accustomed to spending hours asking for Visas, permits, passports, and such.
Considering I spent my entire childhood up until college in the same neighborhood in Denver, I marvel at what is normal for them. Sometimes I long for that Denver neighborhood and for them to experience the blessing of extended family all around and the normalcy of the American way of life (most people don't have a tofu factory for a neighbor!).
But, God has called us here and it's by no means a sacrifice. Serving the military is such a blessing.