Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

Friends and places may come and go, but mom is constant

Houses change. Friends come and go. I move to a new place with new people. Growing up, almost nothing in my life seemed constant. My family would move every two to four years while my father was in the air force.

My parents have always been the constants in my life. More accurately, my mother. My mother has always been there to support and guide me no matter what. We would lean on each other and find strength in one another when my father was deployed, and it was just the two of us.

My mother and I next to the Rio Grande Railroad in Colorado.

My mother and I next to the Rio Grande Railroad in Colorado.

My father was gone for significant amounts of time while I was growing up—and no one is to blame for that, it was simply a part of his job. Be it for a weekend or six plus months, there were times when it was just my mother and me. We lived in a house on Wyoming’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base for four months. That entire time my father was deployed to Oman. We had a massive historic house all to ourselves, my young mother and her crazy four-year-old.

While I was in high school, my father deployed again—six months in Kuwait. This was a rough time for my mother and I—she now had two kids to deal with: my little brother was now six, and I was battling teen angst and depression. But my mother and I really bonded during this time. We really learned how to talk to and understand each other, and I began to realize just how important my mother was to me.

My mother and i on a train in Alaska

My mother and i on a train in Alaska

Some people might think I’m crazy when I say that I consider my mother to be one of my best friends, or when I confess that I call my mother at least two to three times per week. I’m not ashamed of that, and why would I be? I’m not a mommy’s girl—I consider her to be my equal. I can tell her anything and everything. Time flies as we gossip and laugh together. I go to her for advice. If I’m stressed and need to talk something out, she’s a quick phone call away.

I feel like the relationship I have with my mother is an unexpectedly rare thing. Most people probably aren’t very close with their parents, and bond with friends, romantic partners, and siblings more so than their parents. This being considered, it makes my friendship with my mother a much more valuable thing, and I can’t wait give her a call and make plans for the upcoming holidays.

My mother and her border collie, George

My mother and her border collie, George

By: Rachel Schlachter

Rachel Schlachter is a military brat and Domestic TCK who lived in five states and visited twenty-two more. She loves traveling and experiencing new places with her friends and family.