Perspective class of 2014 parent

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by blackhawkmom, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    Hard as it is to believe----the class of 2014 is nearing the end of the 4C year. Roller coasters aside it is hard to believe that in a little over 2 months these young men and women will complete the first year at the academy. Wow ----for some parents it's been a rough road and for some an exciting trip. Our children however have proven they control their own futures and we must surely let them follow it -on their own with the brothers and sisters they have made at USNA. They do not need us ---well 99% of the time .Our plebes are awesome and in spite of the parents ( yep me) have shown they are made of the right stuff. Whatever "boat " your plebe fits in --its still a major accomplishment---- Climb --plebes--climb!
     
  2. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Also, Vice Admiral Miller has decided to bring back the traditional Herndon climb - complete with grease!

    Just as I predicted, by the way. After all, the man is an aviator. He understands that there are risks in life. Maybe somebody will get a bloody nose, twist an ankle, or chip a tooth. War is hell! :shake:
     
  3. pieterm

    pieterm Member

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    Congrats on your accomplishment as a parent! So, do you have any advice for our plebe Summer? Or for that matter, our entire year? Thanks! :cool:
     
  4. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    Thanks for the post, Blackhawkmom! It is so nice to know that there are just two months left until ours will be Plebes-No-More. Mine dared to mention his 3/C year on our last phone conversation! Prior to that he was just focusing on plowing through this year. Twelve week exams are coming up the first week of April...Hope everyone stays SAT!

    Advice for 2015 parents...Hang on for the ride of your life! Don't be surprised, or disappointed, if your kid goes through some rough spots, academically, physically, emotionally...There are challenges that we "outsiders" can't even imagine. They will grow to become the men and women you know they can be! The biggest lesson I learned was to just LISTEN and not try to fix things or to doubt my kid and the way I raised him! :yllol: Oh, and don't get angry or frustrated with the Navy. They really do know what they are doing.

    Your DS/DD will still need you...your ear, your support, your love, and occasionally your money! :rolleyes:
     
  5. jbowman55

    jbowman55 USNA Parent 2014

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    The biggest thing I have learned this year is to NOT try to FIX things. :rolleyes: It is up to your plebe to make it happen.

    If you haven't already, begin this process. Stop filling out forms, making deposits, anticipating your plebe-to-be's needs. I thought I had raised a very independent child but I was amazed by how much I took care of for her.

    If she really needs it done, s/he will find a way.

    All in all, I think I grew up a lot this year.:wink: So did my plebe.

    One other thing: the Academy wants them to succeed. They have to want that too.
     
  6. SmilingParent

    SmilingParent Member

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    2014 parent here. Couple of things I have learned:
    1) I-day: An early drop off time is good, and 9:00 is not early. It gives your DS or DD more time to get moved into the room and get acclimated. Last year the 9:00 reportees were still in alumni hall during the parent brief (mid afternoon). This day is not as hard for the parents as you may think, but is a little shocking for your DS and DD.
    2) Plebe summer: You will live for viewing pictures on dropshots and the USNA facebook page. God bless those that took the time to take the thousands of pictures and post them online. You may never see your plebe ( I did see mine several times) but just seeing what they are doing is comforting.
    3) Plebe summer phone calls: You can't wait to get them. You may want to ask them a million questions, but really they want to hear from you. They want to know what you and the family have been doing. Some DS and DD's will be VERY SAD and discouraged. Remember this can be expected and most times will pass. So don't worry. Just stay positive and encouraging.
    4) Plebe Parent Weekend (PPW): This is a must go trip. Skip I-day if you have to make a choice of one or the other. However, it may or may not be the best weekend you have ever had. It will be a chance for your DS or DD to be get off the yard, which will be greatly appreciated. My DS and other friends of mine DS's were not themselves totally during PPW. They were still in plebe summer. They had one more week to go. They were stressed out, agitated, anxious, wouldn't sit down at first, paranoid about the new white uniform that had been issued. But they were SOOOOO glad to see family. Don't bring extended family. The girlfriend worked well, but we were very glad we didn't bring the grandparents on this trip. If you can afford another trip, bring the grandparent's up during a weekend in the fall, when your DS or DD will be more relaxed and will love to see you again.
    5)AC year: Information will be given on a "need to know" basis and most times parents don't need to know. Hard to adjust to at first, to learn you are not in control -- the Navy is. But when your DS is amazingly happy -- it is all worth it.
    Feel free to PM me if you want.
     
  7. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Yes, never dreamed last July 1st that we'd now be waiting to hear what Summer Blocks our soon-to-be 3/Cs will have! In fact, I didn't know what a Summer Block was until Spring Break.
     
  8. bergmom

    bergmom Member

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    Thanks from a stressed mom!

    Thank you Class of 2014 parents! Reading your posts is very comforting to me right now as I am preparing to say goodbye to my son June 30. I am trying to put on a strong face, but I am crumbling inside at the thought of letting him go. I knew this day would eventually come and I could not be more proud of the man he is becoming but...the anticipation of him not being a part of our daily lives is just about killing me!! I am not even much of a crier but the tears just won't seem to stop...I hope I am normal and not some "flipped out mom" that can't hack it!! Reading your posts and knowing that someday I will hopefully be able to pass on advice to other worrying moms at least gives me a little hope that this unfamiliar feeling of letting go of the reins will someday pass and be replaced by a very bright outlook! Thanks!!
     
  9. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    bergmom,

    My wife still has a tough time when our son heads off after break, but she has come to realize that he is in a good place, he is very happy and he is excelling in his academics. He has made good friends among his roomates, his company and his classmates. When I asked him he told me that attending USNA was the correct decision for him. I guess that's all we can ask.
     
  10. mc46brpd

    mc46brpd Member

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    I'm with Bergmom, I'm pretty sure my DS is as excited as I am, I'm also pretty positive he is no where near as nervous as I am. I'm an old salt, did 7 years enlisted as an ABH and the only mental picture I can pull up is Boot Camp (or at least the way I remember boot camp) For you "veteran plebe year" parents, how did your mid cope with the emotional pressures of plebe summer? I dont worry about physical challenges, or academic challenges I just wish I could prepare him for the mental/emotional challenges. Also where do some of the "new" plebe parents hail from? We are from Baton Rouge.
     
  11. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    I encourage the parents for the class of 2015 to pm each other and make plans to meet at I-Day or PPW. The really great part about this site is that people make connections with one another and you will actually connect on a whole new level once your sons and daughters begin Plebe summer. More than one or two or even 10 moms on this site got me through many a rough day by sending me messages and lots of other posters reached out as well to share stories and give much needed advice to this newbie parent! :smile: Our son was so relaxed over Spring Break. So appreciative of the little things that he was doing. He was looking forward to changing over to Summer Whites and going on and on about all his adventures this year! It is amazing to see that transformation. 2015 parents and soon to be Plebes, any help we can offer, let us know. It is good to give back for all of the acts of kindness bestowed on our family!
     
  12. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Hi,

    I am from New York City. This is my second time around. My DD is currently a 3/C and my son (and youngest) is a soon to be Plebe. I spent most of my daughter's Plebe summer crying and it took almost her entire Plebe year for me to get to the point where I could say goodbye without tearing up. I didn't know about this forum until some point during my daughter's Plebe summer. My summer routine became checking the photo company website and then checking the forum (Class of 2013 didn't have facebook), almost every hour!!

    I would like to think I am better prepared this time around but like I said, it is my youngest. . . .

    GoNavyMom
     
  13. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    Smiling parent --love the post ---to add to it-

    I Day--tears and joy-more tears and a hollow feeling--followed by:

    Plebe Summer-new glasses while desperately searching for your Waldo--found him-nope --found him--- nope-- FOUND HIM!!!

    First phone call home---voice is gone --is that really you son are you ok---yes they are trying to kill me i hate it---

    2nd call--voice better-hello son i miss you---miss you too gotta go

    Third call-hows it going son-I'm alive doing better see you in two weeks!

    PPW--Where is he where is he---gasp--son is that you!? Hi mom ---oh me son you look different hug hug tears tears-but fantastic-Thanks can we go I'm starving!
    (dinner note---they no longer know how to eat without squaring up---lots of laughter and take wet wipes!)

    End of PPW---tears gasping breaths Christmas music--(dont stay it will kiill you) we left before formation wouldn't let him see me cry---he couldn't even look at his dad--bye gotta get ready for formation

    1st visit after PPW--Hi how's it going--good I'm still SAT and I Rocked the PRT!!! Where are we going to eat?!!!

    2nd visit---Hey-where are we going to eat?!

    Thanksgiving---JOY TEARS _House full of very loud friends eating you out of house and home-impressed friends loving the uniform. Cocky mid!

    And so it goes --you get the picture---now its---Major-exams-friends and classes and oh yeah--i'm still rocking the PRT"S!

    ROLLER COASTER --and yes we are almost to the end--my beautician loves me more appointments to get the grey out. ENJOY it future plebe mom's there is no other feeling like being the mom of a USNA plebe!
     
  14. bergmom

    bergmom Member

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    mc46brpd...

    I also worry that the emotional pressure is going to be the toughest for our son to overcome. I feel confident that he can handle the physical and academic challenges too but like most of these kids, things have come pretty easy to him. (although I do know that have all also worked very hard to get to this amazing place) We keep telling him that he has a long fall off his perch once he enters those gates on I-Day:smile: I guess we just have to trust that we have taught them the character it takes to persevere through the tough times!! We are from Des Moines, Iowa. Hope we will meet you and many other "plebe parents" on June 30...I will be the one with the puffy eyes, red nose and box of kleenex!!:eek:

    Also, I like the idea from lovethenavy about setting up a list of 2015 parents that can pm each other to meet on I-Day and then help each other through the next year!! Do you know how to do this??
     
  15. bergmom

    bergmom Member

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    Blackhawkmom...thank you sooo much!!! You made my night with your words. I look forward to the roller coaster ride...if I can stop crying long enough to get on!!:biggrin:
     
  16. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    Hope you all don't mind a little different perspective on the thread. I'm awaiting Plebe Summer, too, this time as a Detailer's mom!

    It seems impossible that my DD's "first" Plebe Summer was three years ago. We lived to hunt for Waldo as new pictures were posted. We stressed out over every negative comment our Plebes made in letters or during summer phone calls. We couldn't BELIEVE that those were our Plebes, just 6 weeks later, during PPW. (They were so stressed out about keeping their brand new Summer Whites spotless. Forget barbecue or crabs over PPW!) We heard about roommates deciding to leave - then deciding to stay, academic issues, PRT struggles.

    Then suddenly (about this time two years ago!) things improved dramatically, and time speeded up. We blinked, and now our Mids have their class rings ready for their own Ring Dance. One of their summer training blocks will (probably) decide their service selection, and the other one, they will have their first on-the-job training in hands-on leadership of you (or your Plebe).

    I can tell you all, 2015 Plebes, that, even while your squad leader and other detailers are yelling at you, they REALLY DO want you to succeed and become members in full of the Brigade, if you want to do what it takes to earn that right. So, no matter how hard it gets, hang in there. Remember, they can't hit you, and they can't stop time!!!

    As for you parents, I know too well how hard it is to let go, but your sons and daughters will be in good hands. Have fun together in these next few months, and have fun planning your various trips to Annapolis. Look for any opportunities to give your Plebe a reason to smile. Send comics, jokes, and lots of news from home. If possible, send a short note as often as you can. Snacks and goody boxes are nice, but (maybe only true for girls) my then-Plebe lived for mail. Don't ever expect a response from your Plebe, but save every note or letter that ever comes your way.

    ***Important digression: Pay attention to the correct mailing address during the summer versus academic year and beyond. During Plebe Summer, you MUST include your Plebe's Company and Platoon (i.e. E9 or H15) You'll get that info on I-day or a few days before.***

    This is the start of the craziest roller coaster ride available, but it is an amazing experience. Welcome to the ride!

    PS: Recently, DD commented that, as a Plebe, she couldn't believe that Detailers actually had parents :)
     
  17. njbaseball

    njbaseball Member

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    Blackhwakmom and 2012mom-----

    Great posts! Could hardly see and finish reading through the tears. My DS is still waiting here in Alabama. But today is Friday and maybe just maybe today will bring good news! Would be a GREAT birthday present as his 18th birthday is on Tuesday.

    Blackhawkmom...I am glad that you son is doing soooo well. Have followed you since last year.
    Hope you both have a blessed day.
     
  18. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Some unsolicited advice to all parents . . .

    As happy, excited, proud, nervous, etc. as all of you are, remember that it's your DS or DD who is the mid. Easy to say, sometimes hard to do.

    Remember also that parents sent kids off to USNA before cellphones, before email, before pix posted on the net of PS, before there was such a thing as PPW, etc. And we and they survived.

    It will be a rollercoaster for you but you best help your DS or DD by being their rock. They will have super highs and desperate lows. Some will want to quit and some will quit. Being steady, supportive and -- occasionally -- dispassionate is a good thing.

    When I'd complain to my dad (a WWII Marine enlisted) about how bad things were, it didn't take many words for him to set me straight on what "bad" really was.:smile:

    The military life is now their life. While you will always be the child's parent, you are no longer responsible for his/her care and feeding, as it were. Your child is jump-starting into being an adult and you are jump started into realizing that.

    So try to contain your excitement today and your frustration and anger 6 mos from now (when his vacation is changed b/c of duty, when she gets her first D, etc.). It will be better for you and a lot better for your DS/DD.
     
  19. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Well said!

    As I like to say, when I went off to the Naval Academy it was as if I fell into a communication abyss. I lost all communications with my friends. (teenagers don't really write letters - it's way too much work - even back in the 70's) As hard as it may be to understand these days, calling "long distance" was VERY expensive. Even that was limited.

    I'm lucky. I'm an airline pilot. My family can fly for free (although, on standby). My sons came home and saw their family more in their PLEBE year than I did in all four years.

    It's a different world these days.
     
  20. bergmom

    bergmom Member

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    Thank you USNA1985...I really appreciate your words. I will keep them in mind as the next year passes and I have to deal with watching my DS struggle and succeed all on his own. It is really tough as a mom to let go of the reins but I can see that stepping back will be the best gift I can give. Believe me, my husband has already told me that if/when:biggrin: our DS calls to tell us that he is having a hard time with something, my job is no longer to make it better...now it is to watch him figure it out! Thanks again for your great perspective!
     

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