brat-(brat)n. An ill-mannered or spoiled child
Not really sure who coined the phrase "military brat," but in the eyes of almost everyone who has heard the phrase, I've got four. In defense of the dictionary I used, the second one states, "A child of a career military person." But the word brat carries with it such a negative connotation. And military brat, even more so. But surrounded by my four "brats" today, it caused me to sit and think on this very phrase. My children look at adults in the eyes when they speak, they speak when spoken to...or we're working on that one with two in particular...they say please, thank you, yes ma'am and no sir. The boys hold doors open and my girls have "kissing knees." They ask left out children to play, they eat with napkins in their laps, they put their hand over their hearts when they play the national anthem, and the boys take off their hats when they sit at a table. They obey their coaches, music teachers, and other adults. They care about feelings and boo-boos of their siblings. They make offers of help, see needs, carry in groceries, and swiffer my floors. They pick up their messes, they pray for people, they sing together, and play hide and go seek. My brats are not ill mannered nor are they spoiled. They let the country borrow their Daddy for months at a time, they give up birthdays with him, holidays, weekends. They don't waste moments with him, they meet him for lunch, they sit in his office when he can't be at home, and they say good night on the phone instead of in person. They have learned to ride bikes and then email him to tell him. They let him miss games, dance recitals, and birthday parties. They know his job does not come first but they also know sometimes it may seem like it. No, spoiled is not the word I would use, nor ill-mannered, nor brat. They are children of a United States Marine. And I am their Mom and couldn't be prouder to have that title.