Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Soldier Boys

It’s been a long time since I blogged about soldiers, then again, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a damn thing for them. Time to get back on that! Here’s a refresher: I adopted a soldier in November 2009 through adoptaussoldier.org. I wanted the girls to learn how good it feels to give, and I thought it would be even more special if there was someone specific we were “giving” too. I wanted a connection… Our first soldier was Megan, who was deployed to Iraq. Then there was Sheila, also in Iraq and Melissa in Afghanistan. Of my three Soldier Girls, we are still in touch with two of them. Megan is now in Hawaii and Melissa is in Virginia. It always brightens my day when I hear from them.

I have not sent anything overseas since we put together that mammoth shipment at Christmas time. I can’t get out of this habit. The entire process of sending things overseas makes us so happy. It starts at the store, where my girls are focused on buying for someone else rather than begging for things. They become fun to shop with and we are challenged to find a variety of treats and useful items to send. We always include homemade cookies, so there’s an opportunity to hang out and cook. I’m no fool, I realize they’re just waiting to lick the bowl and eat cookies hot out of the oven but they claim to love “helping mama.” They love writing out cards or making their own and it’s warmed my heart on more than one occasion to look through pictures on Facebook to see pictures the girls have drawn hanging up in a soldier’s room thousands of miles away. We are strangers after all…

At this time, I don’t need to go through the regular organization to adopt soldiers. I know of three that are currently deployed. One soldier is the son of Pinky, another is the husband of Darcy, Sugar’s second grade teacher and the third is our friend Spencer. When Megan visited in November, she brought Spencer. The girls adored him and talked his ears off, then made him play Dance Dance Revolution. My sweet angels stood there and howled with delight as Spencer tried to keep up and begged them to slow the game down. They laughed even harder and said, “It doesn’t go any slower.”  Spencer was a great sport and highly entertained by their love of Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue.” While he was here, he mentioned that he might deploy again and I told him then that we would love to adopt him. Spencer tried to say it wasn’t necessary, like I was feeling obligated to take care of him or something. Adopting soldiers just isn’t a big deal for us, we LOVE to do this. The hardest part is wrestling the junk food away from Sugar and Spice so I can ship it out.

I am a mom of girls and my other soldiers were girls, so I’m a little mystified as to what to send this time around. I would email the Soldier Girls and they’d talk of shampoo, soaps, lotions and body washes but most men just don’t care about that stuff. Besides, for two of them, I’m working through a wife and a mother. Darcy tells me Bruce loves junk food… Pinky let slip that Brandon chews and she doesn’t approve so you KNOW I’ll send him chewing tobacco. And Spencer, well when he was here, I promised him I wouldn’t let the girls send him anything pink. He responded, “Those girls can send me whatever they want.”

So when we shopped on Saturday, we focused on food. We bought candy, chips, gum, raisins, Easy Mac, Slim Jims, then we came home and baked cookies. The girls spent a lot of time writing out cards and Sugar was focused on writing something different in each one. I love to see them so excited about putting these packages together.

The packages are ready to be sent and I hope they enjoy them.  There’s nothing pink or remotely feminine inside, maybe just a flower or two drawn by Spice. And one package really does contain chewing tobacco. Zippy the lippies, Pinky!

Ice Princess 

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