Funny thing is you were just thinking about that Whitney Houston song, huh?! Well I immediately think about Eddie Murphy singing that song in Coming to America with his band Sexual Chocolate. That movie is freaking hilarious. My big brother and I have seen it so many times we quote it back and forth to each other all the time. But it's true, the children are our future. Yet Chaz and I are currently trapped in a world that doesn't know what to do with them.
The typical soldier is around 20 years old. He might be married and if so it's been for a very short time and they might have an infant. The soldier and wife usually only have a high school education. So the military has an easy fix with them, put the infant in day care and we'll tell you what to do. But Chaz and I are 32, I have a college degree and only need a few classes to have a Master's. He has served in the Army for 13 years, he tells people what to do as their squad leader. Our girls are school aged and are very aware of the world around them. We stand out like a big sore thumb. Oh and let's not forget I have a really big mouth. The nice thing is I never complain, but I do ask questions. I do not go and complain about a problem without offering at least one solution. I have been told more than once that they appreciate that I come bearing solutions and compromises and that I don't just attack them. I have very good communication skills and I am not afraid to use them.
Kids learn best through play. How many architects were inspired by their lego or erector sets? How many doctors were inspired by an anatomy doll? How many kids could make prosthetics even better because they had a doll to inspire them? Amputations don't just happen in wars. There are accidents of all sorts of levels all over our world. Soul Surfer and Dolphin Tale both showed us how these accidents occur all over our country. Our girls won't be the last to experience this tragedy. So how can we make it better for the those who follow behind us?
I think a line of Military Service oriented dolls would help instill pride in military kids. Military kids love their Daddy dolls. How much would they love to play with them even more? I think a line of wounded barbies would help teach acceptance and how to overcome adversity. Our soldiers are amazing and more people need to know about them. After all only 1% of our country serves in our military. Our country is very proud of our military, let me assure you of that. I have witnessed this pride first hand. I think these dolls would foster even more pride.
And yes I already emailed Mattel. I haven't heard anything yet and maybe I never will, but I have to try. I have seen our girls playing with their barbie and the have adjusted to their reality. But what about that little child who isn't able to adjust as well as ours? What about that family who doesn't know how to talk to their kids about their loved ones' physical changes? These dolls could open up the lines of communication and help heal that family. You may think it's just a doll. But to a child it's a new world of possibilities. Role playing allows kids to communicate their thoughts and ideas and can give us a glimpse into what they are thinking and feeling. If we can see into that world we can help them heal and make their little lives a little better. These dolls can help the parents, doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists and anyone else involved in the kids lives help them understand what is going on with their loved one who was injured.
Children are our future. We can help them heal on this journey or we can just put them in day care and let the parents deal with it later. You have two distinct paths here. You can foster healing or foster resentment. You can foster healing by engaging your kids in communication and helping them heal and understand what's going on. Or you can just ignore the problem and stick them in day care and just make them accept it. I have seen first hand ignoring the problem just fosters resentment. There's enough anger floating around when going through all of this. Let's find a way to talk about it and have a little fun while we're healing. Let's give these kids the futures they deserve. Let's have a little fun and talk them through this road to our new normal. They are a very important part of the healing. If the kids are having fun they will be happy. Their happiness will make their parents happy and that will help the healing process. Kids want to be involved in healing their parents. They get so much joy from being a part of their parents healing. These dolls could help them understand more and even inspire them to create new ways to help their parents. These dolls are a win-win-win situation. These dolls can help brighten the futures for these kids. If we can brighten their lives there is no telling where they might lead us one day!