In so many ways, joining the military has been a wonderful blessing for our family. Its an experience I wouldn’t change for the world – it’s a job my husband loves, and a lifestyle that comes naturally to us. That isn’t to say it’s without it’s challenges. Of those, there are too many to name. But for us, in this season of life, our biggest challenge is the toll deployment takes on our children. My daughter is a wonderful, bright nine-year-old with a heart bigger than anyone I’ve ever known. It’s also a heart diagnosed with anxiety this year.
A few months ago, she began seeing a counselor to help with her anxiety, but also to help her prepare for the upcoming deployment. We scheduled her routine weekly appointment for the day after her dad left for halfway across the world so that she could vent to her play-therapist. Over the course of an hour they made slime (Maddilyn’s favorite activity) and talked about all the ways creative ways to survive a deployment.
My kid is a crafter, and one of their ideas was to create a scrapbook journal of the time her dad was away so that when they reunited in the coming months she could walk him through her memories. A few days after her appointment, the Polaroid Mint arrived on our doorstep and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
What better tool to document her memories and help her scrapbook than with a 2-in-1 camera and printer. Plus, the prints are actually 2-3 stickers, making them easily adhesive to just about anything. Our first big trip was over Easter weekend when we went camping with a group of friends. She brought along her camera and documented everything from her bug collection to her brother.
I loved that she was able to use it right out of the box, after only a minute or so of instruction. It has simple buttons allowing her to add a border or filters, and it even has a selfie mirror in the front, which she uses a lot at this age. The hand strap was perfect for our nature walks too. Something I noticed was the weight of the camera felt “just right.” As in, it felt solid enough that I wasn’t constantly worried about my accident-prone child accidentally breaking it, but not so heavy that it was cumbersome for her kids sized hands to use and manipulate.
Everything prints instantly but we also inserted a micro SD card so she has the digital version to send some photos to dad in real time. When we got back from our trip, she immediately began assembling the first pages of her scrapbook and the joy it brought to her as she recalled her trip made my heart feel good.
Raising military kids is a tricky business and it’s hard to know the best ways to ease the burden of sacrifice you’re asking of your child. I worry every day about her mental health and if we’re doing the right thing. But what I’ve found is that when you give your children the right tools, combined with personal coping mechanisms, they can battle their way through anything. I love knowing this is something that is going to help her get through a tough time while instilling a love for documenting personal moments. I have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty thick scrapbook by the time she reunites with her dad!
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