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Changing Roles

Essay by   •  December 1, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,225 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,486 Views

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The contemporary American family is one that shows a picture perfect lifestyle of happiness and normalcy, but this normalcy can be challenged by anything. The present war our country is engaged in is one factor that has changed the lives of many families since it began. Husbands, sons, and sometimes even mothers and daughters are leaving their homes to fight in the war with Iraq. If the traditional American family consists of a husband, wife, and two or more children living in suburbia, my family could once have easily represented it. However, when our country went to war, my dad's military-career transferred him thousand's of miles across the ocean disrupting almost every aspect of our once, near perfect household.

Most of my life I have had a very comfortable, no worries lifestyle. I was raised by both my parents in a nice home just outside of a pretty big city; we lived there almost eleven years of my life until we moved to a bigger home in a different side of town. My mom became pregnant after we moved into our new house and we soon celebrated the arrival of my sister. After my sister was born our family seemed to change in some ways. I noticed my parents were becoming more involved with both of our schools and doing more parental things. Both of my parents really settled down what little wild youthfulness was still left inside of them; our family was becoming very contemporary and more of the picturesque family most view as normal. My mom didn't work, but rather stayed home and did the housewife thing while raising my sister and I. My dad has a job in the military, which often times calls him to placed around the country for a few days at a time but never for long.

I remember the day I found out my dad had to leave for Iraq. It struck me with different emotions. I was sad for my dad and our family, but I was also shocked because I had never thought this was going to happen to me, to my family. My mom did not take it well. She was very upset because my dad was going to have to leave. Although we knew that my dad, being in the position he is in, would probably avoid much combat, we were still scared, angry and confused as to why this was happening to us. We understood that our country needed my dad, but at that moment it was hard to find much patriotism.

We had a few weeks left before my dad left. We didn't know when he was coming back or what all he would be doing, all we could think about is how our dad was leaving and how our lives were about to change. Normally, our household would do everything together. Our routine was set. My dad was a very important part of our lives, he wasn't like some dads who either was always gone or didn't care. He took us to school, read my sister stories, made dinner alongside my mom, he was just always there and it would be very different without him. He left right before school started, near the end of summer. It was the start to a pretty bad fall. Fall was already depressing enough with school starting and summer ending but now my dad would be leaving, it seemed that nothing else could go wrong.

My mom couldn't handle everything as well as my dad could. She just wasn't the same without my dad around. She did her best to help us out in whatever my sister and I needed, but we all were hurting without my father around. It really affected my mom more than anyone. Most mom's prepare for their children leaving or when they are old their husbands dying, but my mom, like the rest of us, never really expected my dad to be shipped off for a war. Even when the war was going on there still was no sign of my dad having to leave. It came very spontaneously. We still received my dad's paychecks plus some for him being gone, but money was definitely tighter around our house. Everything was taking its toll on us. My mom was having a lot of problems, she never has worked, she was dealing with my dad being gone and she had to get a job. Our

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