One-Way Ticket

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Lee2015, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    My heart is breaking. Today I booked my daughter’s airline ticket to Newark with no return date. I’m not ready for this.
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    :eek:

    Yep...that's a toughie. Some parents will get an "open ended return" ticket...but that can sometimes be misread: "here's your get outta jail free card...just come home..."

    Tough day...and it'll be tougher...but...think of all the wonderful things she's about to experience, what she'll share with you, how PROUD you'll CONTINUE to be of her and how much MORE proud you're going to become when she does things that completely amaze HER and YOU!!! :wow:

    It's going to be "okay." And the fact that you feel this way?

    Means you "DONE GOOD" with her!! :rockon:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Thank you, flieger83. You made me smile :smile:
     
  4. sgmom

    sgmom Member

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    :smile:All right, both of you made me cry and smile at the same time!
     
  5. Shelbyboyz

    Shelbyboyz Member

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    I'm not ready either

    I think the fact that DS will leave home for the first time 9 days after he graduates from high school has hit me like a ton of bricks.
     
  6. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    Daughter is now looking towards the end of Plebe year ... we have had many ups and downs over this past year. The other day she said to me "Can you believe I've been gone for 8 months now?? It seems like yesterday!" ... in some ways yes, it's been quick, but other days, it drags on forever!! Enjoy the "rollercoaster ride" ... it is worth it, and unforgettable!!! (and still continues) :smile:
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    My cadet has had some of the same feelings of amazement. He mentioned that he and his buddies were skiing one Saturday at West Point's ski slope and couldn't help but reminisce how in August they had sat in that very spot. They were on the last leg of the Marchback and they rested and had their feet checked at the ski slope which was covered with green grass. A lot has happened since then! :smile:
     
  8. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    It really flies by...except when it drags. Son is getting ready to come home to pick up his car. I have booked a place for ring weekend in August...seems like the mailman just brought the fat envelope. It's been a great experience; I hope your kids will thrive at WP. You will survive; it's tough, but you can do it!
     
  9. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    At the end of four you will look back and say "where did the time go?". Making reservations for graduation and seems like only yesterday was at 100 degrees I-Day and met for fifteen minutes on Stribling Walk. I can't believe all the things she has experienced in four years. The video "Does your College let You Do This?" doesn't say enough. And now Semper Fi.
     
  10. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Ditto to all the parents thoughts. It is one of the hardest things you have done with/for your kiddo, but also the BEST! There are whole threads on here from year's past suggesting what parents can do to survive all the emotions!

    Here's something all you folks with kids heading off to a SA "summer camp" (tongue in cheek there folks!) can do today: start hunting for cards to send: funny ones, inspirational ones, "you can do this" ones.........I sent one every day of plebe summer two years ago. I began building my collection right after 3/C son received his BFE from USNA.
     
  11. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    I have found that each year goes by faster than the last. Next thing you know you are buying airline tickets for graduation. Before R-day I was emotional about him leaving home, now I get emotional thinking about him leaving West Point; funny how my perspective has changed. Change is a bit unsettling for this Mom. I had adapted to the new normal of him being at WP and now I will learn to adapt to him being in the regular Army and all the uncertainty that comes with that.

    To the parents getting ready to send your kids off to an academy – you will adapt too and be excited to see the wonderful changes in your kids. My son was a responsible, fairly mature, young man when he graduated high school but over the last few years he really has grown into a confident, self sufficient, determined man.

    You have the roller coaster ride of emotions to look forward to but you also have so many good things to look forward to as well. I would live through it all again without hesitation.
     
  12. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    My son is a doolie at USAFA (freshman). Reading these posts, its amazing to me that almost a year has passed. I was a single mom, and DS is my only child, so his leaving was an incredible adjustment for me. I found the greatest comfort from reminding myself that this was always the goal. My job as a parent was to raise and nurture a well rounded, confident, caring and productive member of society. His leaving, as personally painful as it was, was also confirmation of a job well done. I could die tomorrow and know in my heart that I have succeeded in the most important thing I will ever do.
    Congratulations on your daughter's accomplishment. Congratulations on your accomplishment. Invest in bubble wrap, work in some special time before she leaves, and be brave at the airport. (I will forever bless the airport desk person who allowed me to accompany my son to the gate even though I wasn't a ticketed passenger!) Then go home and find a hobby and dive in. Write lots of letters, and give out addressed stamped envelopes to her friends and teachers so they will write at least during that first summer. Let yourself cry when needed, but always work to make your daughter proud of how you're doing in her absence.
    Your role in her life will definitely change forever the day she steps onto that plane. Throw yourself into mastering your new role just as you did your previous one!
    Strap in and enjoy the roller coaster ride! :thumb:
     
  13. macmom

    macmom Parent

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    Waiting on the one way ticket

    Well I certainly shouldn't be reading this thread at work! Every post brought tears to my eyes. I cannot believe I am really sending my beautiful daughter off to Colorado Springs, knowing she truly is going to come back a different person. Stronger, and better, but certainly no longer my baby. I have gotten to the point where I cannot even discuss it with family and friends without choking up. (Of course as my children like to point out, I tend to cry at Hallmark commercials)

    That said, we cannot express what a great opportunity this is and how proud she has made us, and what a unique person she is to be taking this on, given all the opportunity she had.

    I am going to start buying cards and addressing envelopes now! :smile:
     
  14. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    sgmom and flieger83, I'm still wearing the smile you gave me! :biggrin:


    MY truckload of bricks fell on me when the examining physician for the DoDMERB physical asked for "some sort of mark. . . so they can identify her. You know, a tattoo, a scar, a piercing, just anything that would let you know it was her." Long silence followed. Still in shock, I whispered, "Well, she has a small birthmark on her right piggy toe." Physician replied, "That will do." Once we were back in the car, all daughter could say was, "My piggy toe, really?" This was the worst day by far during this whole process.


    I do enjoy the thrill of a good rollercoaster! But please tell me that the rollercoaster is a steel frame and not one of those wooden things. I just hate it when my head is thrashed about uncontrollably. Those give me a never-ending headache. Nevertheless, I'm usually the first to say, "Let's do that again!" :thumb:


    I dread the dragging!


    LOVE IT!! Note to self--go buy tons of cards! :wink:


    OBXmom, I'm so thankful for mothers like you. Congratulations to both you and your son! What an incredible young man he must be. :smile:


    I totally get this. But, I refuse to ever relinquish my daughter from the "my baby" status. :wink: I wish you and your daughter all the best!
     
  15. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Few thoughts:

    I had no problems watching my son at the airport leaving for USAFA. Maybe a bit misty-eyed, but no big deal. The clincher didn't come until I got home after work that evening and walked into his room and realized he WASN'T COMING HOME!!! :eek: For real!! When I spoke to him that evening (he spent the night with a friend before I Day), I really lost it. Couldn't talk because I was crying too hard. THAT was the hard part. The next morning when I spoke to him for 30 seconds on his way in, I held it together for his sake. Luckily we have Webguy for USAFA and I was able to find a lot of pictures of him that day going through the inprocessing. And realized at that point I no longer felt sad, or upset, but... in looking at all the pics... more JEALOUS of all he had to look forward to! :thumb:

    As far as all the opportunities they'll have, my son was in Drum and Bugle and got to spend a day in NYC (where he had countless people thank him for his service, pay for his meals, tickets, allow him to go to the heads of lines, etc.), a weekend in Las Vegas (where he managed to see 4 shows in one day!), play (trumpet) on the field during halftime in a bowl game, and a LOT of other travel opportunities. He's excited about the upcoming summer and recently posted as his Facebook status, "Parachute school this summer! That's right, my college rocks!" :biggrin:

    Finally, regarding the cards - from what I understand that's okay for Navy and WP, but it wasn't - at least for first detail for my son - at USAFA. They were strongly encouraged to only have "business sized, plain white envelopes with nothing to make them stand out". My husband included a picture in one early in the game and son defintely let us know NEVER to do that again. By second detail they cared less and usually allowed them to read their mail on their own out at Jacks, but seemed like the first few weeks they read them standing at attention in the mailroom while the cadre walked around and read/confiscated/made fun of anything that was even slightly non-uniform (or had the whole group do pushups, etc. to "pay" for it)! I had stocked up on a zillion cards to send him and ended up with a lot left over. I still use them occasionally just so he has some (non-bill) mail in his mailbox but seems kind of unnecessary sending him "hang in there, you can do it, things will improve" cards when he's all "Life is great!" :shake:
     
  16. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Marciano, I'll send you 5 bucks for the whole lot of unused cards!
    :smile: Thank you to all the great posts on this thread. I am excited and dreading dropping DS off at the airport. He wishes to fly out a day ahead of time on his own to KP to enjoy the sports teams picnics. He is very independent and has spent 5 months away from home previously (supervised) but this is big time! I now want to drive him there but I am sure for his best interests letting him go it alone is best. not so sure about mine. He loves an adventure and he went alone for his overnight visit so he has been there before. Sigh, we did a good job, (all of us) didn't we! Is there a pass the tissues smiley? AND, to keep me company (because a hubby, 3 more kids and 2 cats isn't enough) I just got a puppy!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  17. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    My card experience is similar to Marciemi's. My cadet enjoyed mail from home but preferred it not draw attention. He is not a card person so I sent letters with general, upbeat news from home and sports articles from the paper. He would go several days without being taken to the cadet post office so he did not like having to unload a huge pile of mail from his box in front of everyone. Didn't send pictures; he didn't take pictures. This is how he focused on the task at hand. YMMV

    One other thing, his grandmother sent him a check instead of cash during Beast and of course he never got a chance to cash it. So who does she harass about the uncashed check???? Me. Tell well-meaning relatives to send it on A-Day when cadets can resume normal activities.
     
  18. pinkharley99

    pinkharley99 Member

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    During BCT I sent my DD a letter every day. Do you know how hard it is to write something everyday? I came to the conclusion (very quickly) that it didn't matter what I wrote as long as I did. Some days it was positive, upbeat quote, I drew pictures of silly stuff that would make her smile, I even wrote out lyrics to one of her favortie songs and drew cartoons. She really appreciated getting the mail. As previously stated, plain white paper and enveloped. Do not try to scan pictures into the letter. Did that, the letter was taken away.

    Recognition is next week. Where does the time go!:biggrin:
     
  19. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    It is hard!!!:shake: I had to resort to things the dog and cats were doing or I called my down-the-street neighborhood and begged for news!
     
  20. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Wow - guess we overdid it because we tried to send 4 letters EVERY day! :eek: I wrote each day, had my husband write each day, usually sent another letter that was more just something funny (I'd found a bunch of websites with jokes, articles, etc. and would send one of those) and I'd make one of his brothers write around every other day. He was particularly down at Jack's and asked for more mail so we were trying especially hard then. Needless to say when he gave me all his mail at PW (including from his GF who'd written nearly daily plus all the people I'd given his address to!), it took up about half my carryon to bring it all home for him! :thumb: I sorted it all by date and who sent it and put it all in plastic sheets in binders for him to keep in the future - maybe someday he'll actually get a chance to read it all! Although I was surprised that he actually did read the letters then. When we talked to him on Doolie Day In or during PW, I'd mention something that had happened and he'd be like "I KNOW, I read the letters you sent!"
     

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