Author’s note: As I near the end of my time living in Germany while my wife serves in the United States Army, this is part I of a III part series examining my thoughts and feelings as I prepare to head back to America and leave Germany behind. Part I examines what I will not miss about Germany. Part II examines what I will miss about Germany. Part III examines what I’ve learned during my time in Germany.
My wife Jules, myself, and our three children Hunter (12), Eva (10), and Acadia (8) were scheduled to be stationed in Germany for three years, and the way my wife’s Army career was looking, it was possible we could squeeze in a fourth year. Then the military does what it always does, and our world was turned upside down. Jules was selected for a position at Fort Lee in Virginia and our three or four years living and traveling in Europe was cut short to two.
How do I help the children cope with learning that, at 18 months and in six more months, they will once again have to pick up their lives and move? How do I cope with picking up my life and moving at the two-year mark?
I try to frame the issue so the transition is smoother. Happier. I work with the children to focus not only on what they will miss about where they currently live but also what they will not miss. It’s subtle, but why not have them focus on things they are escaping when they leave? I also focus on what they will look forward to in their new home.
Find the rest of this story here.