Ours was never a conventional relationship, more of a fairy tale actually. We’ve been together since class 9, at a time when you’re not thinking about a future together, you’re not looking at a job or how much the other earns, you’re not thinking about stability or status or any such thing.

army-life-army-wife-army-brats-kids Then suddenly, we were choosing subjects and 2 years later, making our career choices. And we were together during this crucial time, talking to each other, discussing our insecurities and ambitions. I was in NIFT and he was doing his BBA, and that’s when this question popped up.

He’s always been gung-Ho about the Army, joined the NCC, went to the Republic Day Camp and won the best cadet award! I mean, all of us in school knew that  if anyone deserved to be in the Armed Forces, it was him. And then suddenly, I have my best friend and the love of my life pegging his life’s ultimate decision on me.

It was a great responsibility and a question asked too soon. Honestly, I’ve never thought much of marriage, never understood the institution, to be fair. But he was completely different, he was sure, the minute he set eyes on me, that he wanted to marry me. So, instead of saying, “OMG, did you just propose me? Already? On the phone?”, I was thinking about the real question!

 

{ What went through my mind }

WILL I MARRY HIM IF HE JOINS THE ARMY ?

“What does that even mean?”

“Why is he asking me that question?”

“How’s getting married related to the profession he chooses?”

“Why, don’t women want to marry Army Officers?”

“What do I want? Why?”

“I don’t want to get married, the question is invalid.” 😛

Ha ha, an easy conclusion but your mind is wired in a weird way. I had clarity in an instant and my answer was completely unexpected, even to me!

This is what I said –“Oh yes, I would want my kids to grow up the way I did”

ALSO READ: Why my husband is the perfect man to raise boys !

So get this- a 20 year old girl, doesn’t know what marriage means but is clear in her mind that she wants to have kids and is responsible for the way they grow up !

Surprising, but that day, I learnt a lot about myself and what I wanted just because of a question. And that brings me to the second part of this post.

HOW DO I WANT MY MY CHILDREN TO GROW UP? WHAT DID I EXPERIENCE AND HOW IS BEING IN THE ARMY RELATED TO THAT?

All of us Fauji Kids know the second we join college that we have an edge over others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging, but this is the truth. I’ll try and tell you why.

So let’s start with the Nature and Nurture rule to child growth. It’s an age old argument that says that how a child turns out to be depends on:

1. Nature – the natural factors for eg. The genetic makeup inherited from the parents and

2. Nurture – the environment the child lives through and his/her experiences.

ALSO READ: “If you could do one thing for love, what would it be?”

The modern issue with this argument is that Nurture has been assumed as environment. Nurture means to ‘take care of’ which is mostly dependant on the parents and can be controlled whereas environment is that aspect that cannot be controlled.

Here, let me give you an example. There are two parents- one in the Army and one in the Corporate world. Let’s assume that their net incomes and genetic makeup are a constant. Let’s also say that both are loving and nurturing parents and will go to any length to provide for the child in terms of activities, interactions, games, holidays, anything that adds value to child growth, even time spent with the child (very very difficult in today’s world) !

So both get the same Nature and Nurture. The deciding factor will be the variable, Environment. And that’s where the Defence Kid will win! You say, I’m jumping to conclusions? I’m not, here’s why!
THE DEFENCE KID LEARNS TO BEFRIEND NATURE

By Nature I mean, Mother Nature and his/her own Nature. The defense environment in itself is very conducive to challenges and they are doled out to you at a young age.

APS-BANGALORE-ARMY-KIDSI remember going out for my first adventure camp when I was in 7th std. This is unlike a school trip or camp, mind you. I went with a group of kids from all ages and backgrounds, most kids I had never interacted with before. Imagine the challenges! We were falling to the ground, getting bruised, but didn’t give up. I was a very competitive child but I realised that you just can’t beat some people, but that should not stop you from giving your 100%. If I lost, I’d admired my opponent and tried to learn from them. After a week, we all came back as friends, our colony was a chirpier place where everyone loved everyone (well, almost) !

HOW DO THEY BEFRIEND NATURE?

A defence kid will always have secure surroundings and larger, meaner playgrounds.

All their dads play and they’re goooood ! And they won’t let them win.

They won’t hear condescending tones, they’re treated as adults.

Parents will spend quality time with them.

They will ask questions.

They will speak up.

They will be spoken to.

They will always have a great mix of kids around them.

They will learn to trust and you won’t be fearful of that.

They’ll learn that a good life in not directly proportional to the pay package.

They will learn to live within their means.

They will have friends from every corner of India.

They will make new friends every three years. And keep in touch with the old ones.

 

The little brats are always preparing for war, of course they’ll win! 

{ And of course, I’ll marry you if you join the ARMY ! }

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