Yesterday’s guest blog by Kelli McMillan on Homecoming Vets about helping military kids cope with their parents’ deployments and reunions has drawn widespread interest. Laura Wooten responded to tell us that she produced a picture book that is illustrated by her daughter, Kelly Pennington, called With My Little Box of Crayons. This engaging story is about a young boy who misses his father away at war. He tells him what he thinks and how he feels and what it would be like to have him home again.
I’m interested in hearing about and promoting other projects like this to help vets and their families learn to communicate more sensitively with each other about what it’s like to go to war and then come home again. For the warrior, life is never the same. Everything that happens from then on is seen through the prism of that combat or peacekeeping experience. The spouse and children, on the other hand, find it difficult to relate to this stranger that has returned to them. Everybody needs to talk and to listen to each other, with respect and with compassion. It’s not unusal for a child to show us the way.
This picture book can be a starting point. Order it, read it as a family, and if it helps you open up to each other, write a review so other military families can hear how this picture book helped them. You can purchase WITH MY LITTLE BOX OF CRAYONS here at Barnes & Noble or at amazon.com.