Military Spouse Appreciation Day (or just Military Spouse Day) is relatively new and I haven’t written about it before – so today is the day I change that. Truth be told, this holiday doesn’t have a robust history, so this post is short!
Military Spouse Day is the Friday before Mothers Day (and Mothers Day is always the second Sunday in May). Now that Mothers Day has changed for me, I feel like I’m double dipping gifts in May…and I’m totally okay with that.
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According to wikipedia, Military Spouse Appreciation Day started in 1984 when Ronald Reagan “recognized the profound importance of spouse commitment to the readiness and well-being of military members.” But it wasn’t standardized to be the Friday before Mothers Day until 2017.
I’ve been married to the military for…13 years total, give or take a year. This is the first year that I might celebrate, but my personal expectations are low. Normally I would tell Mister Jupiter to “just bring home some champagne” but we did that last weekend, and I don’t want to spoil my taste buds. I might send relevant bitmojis to people wishing them a great day – but no cards (because I should have thought about that sooner).
I read a blog post last year or so that explained the idea that Military Spouse Appreciation Day isn’t really for military spouses. It exists to draw civilian attention to what we do. I’m divided about this thesis statement now. Half of me agrees and says “yes, non-military families should take a moment to imagine the distance and uncertainty that we milspos experience regularly.” But the other half of me recognizes that COVID-19 is forcing the civilian population to be distant from the family they don’t live with, and to be uncertain about the future things – all without the positive benefits of military life like the mental preparedness that you’re going to be removed from comfortable familiar habits and people.
So “future things” I know – broad, vague. But…that’s our normal life. Where will Kid Jupiter go to school? No clue, we don’t live there yet. Will Mister Jupiter be out of town for his birthday? Probably – but that’s months away. What will I do for my birthday in June? No idea – it’s only a few weeks away but I don’t plan that far ahead because our life changes on a dime, and now non-military families are broadly feeling the low-level anxiety that we’ve gotten used to.
Q. Am I happy about sharing this uncertainty?
A. No, not really. Just because we’ve learned to bend and thrive doesn’t mean that we all love it. Truly it’s just a skill set that you learn by living, but it still sucks if you resist change. Personally I love moving every one to four years. I love new cities, I love meeting new people – and if I can easily love all of the new things just imagine how deeply I cherish the old favorites.
Maybe I will request that familiar bottle of champagne after all.