Dear Civilian Best Friend

Civilian Best Friend

Dear Civilian Best Friend,

There are no words to express my heart-felt thanks for being friends with my military child.

Countless times she has had to brave a new playground filled with nothing but strangers. She has had to find her place amongst groups of friends that have been together for years. She has felt the sinking tug of being an outsider far too often.

My daughter has attended three new schools in five years. The older she gets, the harder fitting in has been. Other kids already have their friends and daily spots on the playground. It’s so easy for them to look past “the new kid.”

Your child was special though. They didn’t look past her. They saw her and made her feel like things might be okay in this new place. School was better; this place was better, because of your child.

When you discovered we were military, your heart must have second-guessed the friendship. I get it, we aren’t permanent and eventually tears will be shed if they turn into BFFs. It’s scary to let your child be friends with someone who you know will move away.

However, you didn’t tell them to find someone else as many civilian parents do. You were strong and realized that my daughter needs friends too. You let them build an amazing friendship together, one that many civilian parents are quite frankly freaked out about.

Thank you for letting your child pick mine.

Now comes the hard part.

Bestowing upon you, the three words that will no doubt reduce our little girls to tears.

We have orders.

I am sorry.

I am sorry for the tears that will fall when our moving truck pulls away. I am sorry for the loneliness our children will feel when they look around the playground for a new playmate.

It’s hard making my own children do this, but to know our moving is making other children sad weighs heavy on my heart. They are such innocent angels who deserve such a never-ending amount of praise for being there to lean on.

So promise me, you’ll be there to wipe their tears and hug them tight. I’ll be doing the same thing on my end.

There isn’t a day to honor civilian friends who befriend the military, but there should be. It’s a relationship that many people turn away from. Too many people won’t devote their feelings and time to someone who will eventually move. It’s hard, I get it, but from the bottom of my heart:

Thank you. Thank you for investing in us. Thank you for letting us into your lives.

Even if it is for a small time, that is how we live. There is no continuum for us. You will forever be in our hearts and part of our military family.

When we are gone, please don’t let the hurt turn you away from future military friends. We need you.

You are our anchor.

Here’s to you!

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Photo credit: Ali Eminov

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