-- Sorry, Ma'am. There's been a delay. We don't have firm plans yet, but we will let you know (at the last possible second) as soon as we can.
It teaches me patience.
---Yes, kids, there's the boat. All tied up to the pier. I just got word that it will be another 6 hours before your daddy gets off of it though. Sit tight. He wants off as badly as we want him off.
It teaches me to make fast friends.
---If you get that promotion, you will receive orders to San Diego, leaving in 30 days or less. If you don't, you will be here another year. Make the best of it. Further, it may be that you have orders to San Diego, and your household goods have orders to Guam. Good luck with that too.
It teaches me responsibility.
---Keep that cell phone charged. You never know when there is a surprise call coming.
It teaches me Independence.
---I get to keep the household running, the kids happy and healthy and not go insane on my own. I can change a tire, do yard work, operate a table saw, pay the bills and still keep going.
It teaches me frugality.
---While a steady paycheck is wonderful and I am so grateful for it, everyone has to be careful with their money. It's good to shop at the Commissary and NEX. Even better when they are open when I get there. It's how I afford to keep the short kid in bubbles.
It teaches me to expand my skills.
---From SCUBA in Guam, to kayaking in Hawaii, to hiking in WA. There is always something new to try, fun to learn, and a fear to face.
It teaches me community.
---It's hard to leave friends in far off places and amazing when you bump into them again, half a world away. No matter where you go, there is probably someone you know and always someone willing to lend a hand. I remember the Chaplain in Kadeena, who gave me a place to sleep when I was stranded, the Master Sargent in Elmendorf who helped me to the hotel, Dana in Hawaii who escorted me around after my car left and I didn't, and Dawn in WA, who has been a sure friend for over 15 years and there when I needed her from any corner of the globe.
It teaches me to stand True to my beliefs. In one word, Faith.
--- You have to have Faith you will be cared for while he is gone, faith he will be cared for while he is gone, faith in yourself that you can do it, faith in the Lord to carry you through and faith in your friends to lift and love you. No matter where I go in the world, my church is there and it is true. Different cultures have different values, but I have been able to keep consistency in my life and the lives of my kids because of the Gospel.