My Stroller Warriors journey began in Germany, and it is here where I met Molly at the Stroller Warriors Ramstein Spring Kick-off in 2015. Molly and I became instant friends as did our children. From the start, our kids marched to the same drumbeat— barefoot nature-loving children making sandy mud pies with water from their water bottles, a love for running/sports, playing pretend, and learning. Our families grew together while stationed in Germany. The day that my second child was born, I was making sandwiches to pack for a Stroller Warriors pool day. Our family didn’t make it to the pool that morning as we ended up at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center expanding our family by one. As the days and weeks went on, Molly’s oldest daughter taught my oldest daughter what life is like as a big sister. Molly’s second oldest helped take care of my son at Café Schmidt (our morning spot after school drop-off, but before Stroller Warrior runs)— picking up my son’s spoon from the ground, giving him his Sophie giraffe, or rocking his car seat when he began fussing. The day that we flew from Ramstein to PCS back to the States was also a Stroller Warriors workout day. I ran with my kids to the “airplane” park, ran one final loop with the Stroller Warriors Ramstein crew, and my kids played with their mini-warrior besties 3 hours before we left for America. We have managed to reconnect with Molly and her family on several occasions since leaving Germany. Each time, our kids pick up right where they left off— it’s as if no time has passed whatsoever. Their friendship bond is strong is and enduring like a dandelion.
Our family PCS’d to Charleston AFB and I immediately joined Stroller Warriors Charleston. My children were thrilled there was a Stroller Warriors chapter— it meant jumping right back into a familiar friend group/family. My older two kids began school shortly after our PCS, but my youngest was eager to attend her first Stroller Warriors event at our new home base. Chelsea, the coordinator of SW Charleston became my first friend at our new location, and her youngest daughter has become a cherished friend for my youngest daughter— often sharing stories with her two older siblings about what she and Chelsea’s daughter played during their Friday Stroller Warriors session. My daughter recently celebrated a birthday, and with spring break on the horizon, pulling together a birthday party to include all her favorite people seemed impossible, but all HER PEOPLE are her Stroller Warriors friends. We arrived at a Friday Stroller Warriors run with cupcakes and Italian cookies to celebrate her big day. My daughter hopped out of the car and ran over to Chelsea’s daughter who was holding a birthday present— together the two girls opened the present and ran to the playground to play with a book and action-figurines…taking a cookie or two along the way! After the workout we all sang happy birthday, but then my daughter wanted to sing everyone who attended the workout (as two other mini-warriors had birthdays coming up, and our dog’s birthday was just a week away)! The story of her Stroller Warriors birthday party has been shared repetitively with our family, friends or anyone that asks if she had a birthday celebration.
These mini-warrior memories (and many more) make the dandelion roots for my little dandelions— my military kids. I am forever grateful to Stroller Warriors for providing the soil for my children to flourish!