Semper Gumby -yuck!

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by blackhawkmom, Oct 16, 2010.

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  1. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    I have tried to post this three times ---once more---i am proud of USNA for winning tonight but----. An overnight was granted -the first since June 29th. now for parents that happen to be at the game and can afford the trip /tickets./ and the inflated room prices good for you . For those of us who come up on extended weekends when we can get off work guess we dont matter. No offence but please- does it not make more sense to grant a precious over night on a holiday weekend ? Kids who live outside the Baltimore area are just out of luck. DS is making great grades-great friend and would fight to the death for the academy. But-there is still the homesickness thing. That is the only thing making him still question his appointment. They need to be home while school is in session to see they are forgotten and its time to move on you can't go back. Holidays wont do this sure they will see family sleep in a real bed and hug Grandma but---it isnt the same. I still ask if these are the type of kids who can get in arent they the type to handle being away for awhile? To sleep in a real bed is a much desired luxury -there are no rooms left I called to try to get one for DS and some of his fellow mids who just need to get away and have no family up this weekend.
    Am I the only one feeling this way and questioning all this. They get it -they know the reasons why it is the way it is -but they are also young possibly teenagers and know they have four years of this. It is really hard to think a bed is a luxury and tv is for people in the real world. If they are expected to fight for the rights of others shouldn't they have the same rights as others? Ok anyone BUT MONGO- i know you hate me and think i'm stupid already.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I differ from Mongo on a great many issues, but not this one. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you are in serious need of some perspective. Service Academies are a choice. No one makes any cadet or mid go to one or stay there. As for your "rights" argument, television is not a right. A bed is not a right. Furthermore, I don't know what you mean when you keep saying "real bed." I've stayed at all three big academies in my younger days. Even then, the sleeping was conducted in beds, on mattresses, under covers. I don't know what you think your DS is sleeping on, but I assure you it is a real bed.

    In summary, one cannot expect to undergo the transformative experience of a service academy education and glean all the character development that comes with it if the chief concern is all the "luxuries" that are missing--luxuries which, in the end, are truly meaningless.

    As you type your response to my admittedly blunt answer, consider this: somewhere on the other side of the globe, other mothers' sons and daughters are bedding down in dry wadis, on cliffsides, in armored vehicles and in small metal boxes. They're sleeping in bug-infest B-huts and won't see a TV until they get home. Many sleep within range of enemy mortars and rockets, which drop on their positions at random intervals.

    What do you think THEIR moms are complaining about? Does your son really have it so bad? Do you worry if the next knock at the door will be an officer and a chaplain?

    Your son has to earn the right to lead those very servicemen. I bet many of them would see Bancroft Hall as a five-star inn right now.

    Perspective.
     
  3. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    Blackhawkmom, don't sulk! There are tons of Mids far from home, and they're celebrating tonight. Look at this as a bonus -- a happy surprise. Your Mid can be in DTA late, and enjoy that freedom, and maybe sleep in tomorrow. Those are all benefits. He'll survive 'til the holidays -- generations of Mids have.

    11th hour overnights will probably happen again a time or two before your Mid graduates, and by then, he may have a local friend who invites him home. Or he may find a hotel room w/ friends (they have ways we don't). Or something.

    Buck up. Your kid would rather have this than not.
     
  4. PositiveThinking

    PositiveThinking Member

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    Perspective - amen!
    I'm sure they'll have fun, whatever they manage to do. My plebe wasn't as fortunate as yours - he has duty this weekend, so no overnight for him. :rolleyes:
     
  5. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Your mid needs to make friends w/ mids who live somewhat close by...there's so much to do in the area and within an hour of Annapolis...this was a good event, and reading the post makes it sound like a punishment!
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Mids are bright, creative and able to develop spontaneous plans. We texted our sponsor plebes during the game and gave 'em the green light for bringing others. We had 10 plebes last night for the post-game "loaves and fishes" pasta, salad, garlic bread meal. "Good Will Hunting" was selected on the movie channel, and a baking team took over the kitchen to make peanut butter cookies and brownies to go with the ice cream. Next up was Saturday Night Live, then off to various beds and couches. Lots of laughter and story-telling, as bonds among classmates strengthened and grew. Most checked in with families back home. One of our sponsor plebes who had struggled a bit with homesickness was the one leading the baking team in the kitchen. Several were in deep conversation with 2 of the youngster sponsor sisters, varsity athletes both, about how to keep up with in-company military requirements while traveling for their sport. They are learning how to live and socialize outside their family unit, absorbing one of the facts of military life: you never know when something good is going to happen, so grab it and make the most of it it when it does. The other fact of military life is you will have the duty or some conflicting military requirement that shuts you out from the something good. Amidst all the other academic and professional knowledge they are acquiring, they are learning how to manage their own stress and mood, skills they will call on during high-pressure periods the rest of their personal and professional lives.
     
  7. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    blackhawkmom - I sent you a PM! :thumb:
     
  8. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

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    BRAVO ZULU to Capt MJ and all Sponsor parents for the special time, efforts and dedication you give to our Mids :thumb:
     
  9. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    I feel i have spent the last 12 plus weeks apologizing in one way or the other this seems to be no different. I didn't mean for this post to come across as a punishment or be misconstrued as anything but what it was. We were up last weekend and wished upon wish he would have had a overnight as was rumored. This did not happen but we had a great visit. Living so far away and knowing a unscheduled leave will do neither of us any good is hard. It is very hard at the point i'm sure a lot of plebes are in the process --they are getting it and understanding it but are either homesick or stuck somewhere between "i know why it is the way it is and what the reasoning behind everything is" and "what am i thinking." I also as does my DS know when he is commissioned he will be gone and we will maybe have years before we see each other but for now it is a hard adjustment.

    I am also kicking myself for not saying to him to call his sponsor family. You get caught up in the moment and loose perspective.

    I am his mom and will be his mom no matter if he is 6-16-26 or 60. And as his mom i want to "make it all better" this is no longer my job and that is a process and perspective i will have to learn. I'm sure other plebes and moms are having these growing pains as well. DS and friends made the best of it last night and have moved on the whatever comes next. There will be disappointments and enough missed opportunities to sink a boat i'm sure over the next four years as i have been told it is a process.


    A good friend reminded me it isnt about me my job is over i have raised the kind of man who has what it takes to be where he is and i need to let go. Easily said much harder to do. This is MY problem not his.

    Scoutpilot ---thank you for knocking the wind out of my sanctimonious sails so to speak -you are correct and i needed that slap. Im sure to those of you in trenches etc would love to be in Mother B. When i said a real bed and luxury you must understand the shock of it all is a growing process also. i bet there isnt a single enlisted or academy student that hasnt resented or been disappointed in the reality of where and what they are doing at at least one time in their lives and given the choice would come "home". The thoughts of the mothers you mention is an all true reality that i must prepare myself for next.

    This is all so new and extreme to both parents and students that the adjustment is difficult.It is a hard reality to know where they are and what they are preparing for when they know the friends they left behind are eating pizza on a couch and have the ability to stay up til 3am if they want to. It's the culture shock my 18 year old must adjust to. It is a process and a hard one to say the least.When your child looks at you and asks why and what -you want the right answer and my lack of knowledge cant kiss the booboos or wipe tears away anymore but then again its not about me its about growing up and being a adult. Hard pill to swallow in the short amount of time from the 29th of June to now.

    It will get better and we will adjust but for now ----i need to put it in perspective.
     
  10. AFAMOM08

    AFAMOM08 Member

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    Blackhawkmom--

    The emotions you have expressed are ones most SA academy Moms experience many times over while we learn the "ropes". No apologies needed. This is after all a Parent's Forum and we are or were all in the same boat and have had the same thoughts and fustrations as you. It is why they say that the Academies are great places to be from and best viewed through the rear view mirror!

    I can tell you that it will get better each year and you will be amazed at who your son becomes by the time he graduates! According to my son, his time spent at the academy prepared him extremmely well for the rigors of pilot training and his current deployment. (Mom still worries, that is who we are and it is our job!):thumb:
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    You won't lose that feeling BHMom...

    MY mother was all nervous when I made 0-5...

    "But...you'll get a command now? That's great!!! BUT...that means you'll deploy more to the combat zone...more chances to get shot down (uh, not since Desert Storm, but you can't tell mom that)...are you SURE this is a good thing?"

    Your feelings are perfectly normal!! :biggrin:

    If you DIDN'T have them...THAT would be something to talk about!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    BHmom, don't whack yourself too hard. He's got one foot in childhood and the rest of his body and mind leaning hard the other way, and you will care about all of it until he's got gray hairs.
    :smile:
     
  13. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    We are 1500 miles away from our son and won't see him until Thanksgiving. Our last visit was PPW. I have missed him terribly, but this is what I knew we were getting ourselves into when he applied for the Naval Academy. I was thrilled at the text we got on Sunday telling us of his great weekend and the unexpected overnight. He and friends attended a birthday dinner and then he sponsor hopped over to his roommates sponsor to spend a fun filled weekend:biggrin:. These memories they are making are priceless. I actually think he probably had more fun with his friends than he would have if we had been in town. :thumb:
     
  14. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I don't know. I saw a lot of plebes out on unexpected town liberty Sunday morning without the benefits of either parents or sponsorers and they all seemed to be doing just fine. Actually the wait at Chick and Ruths was almost a half hour.
     
  15. breadcrumbs

    breadcrumbs Member

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    As far as I know, 2011 is the only class residing in Bancroft that never had overnights until Thanksgiving. June 27th to November 21st was a long haul. Plebe overnights in Oct. and people are still complaining. Wow.

    Right on Scoutpilot, thank you for level-headed, real-life response.

    blackhawkmom- you have got to relax and let your son figure things out. Letting go is hard, I agree, but you have to force yourself to so. If you don't, you may be crazy by CW! Don't let that happen! :biggrin:
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I do what I can. There is a longstanding tendency for SA parents to stumble into the trap of believing that little Johnny and Suzy are suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (my apologies to the Great Bard) as cadets and midshipmen. Parents often fall prey to the notion that because of acute and anecdotal circumstances, their child is bearing hardships that none has borne before. The fact is that, in the grand scheme of life, being a cadet or mid is EASY. No one is trying to kill you, or starve you, or hurt you or break you or any such nonsense. It's a four year trek through an institution which has virtually limitless resources to make these young folks into better people. All they ask in return is honest effort and some delayed gratification.

    As the former dean of West Point, BG Kaufman was known to say, "Hell yes we expect a lot out of you--this isn't Bird**** State!" For everything the academies ask, they give back just as much.

    Lastly, and this will sound pointed and harsh but I see a recurring theme: Parents, the academies owe you NOTHING. They don't owe you a chance to take little Johnny out to dinner, or have him nap in your hotel room, or anything else. That's why those chances to leave are called privileges and not rights. Your babies, loveable though they may be, are grown men and women in military service. The sooner you as a parent accept that, for your own good, the better you'll be able to enjoy the next four years. Affect what you can, and accept what you can't.

    Someday Johnny and Suzy will face real danger. For now, they just have to work and learn. Be thankful that your progeny are there and not in those fighting positions--yet.
    :thumb:
     
  17. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Fabulous post, scoutpilot! Many may not want to hear this...but you are spot on!
     
  18. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    And they then will be able to better deal with it due to the baby steps that they are presently taking in that direction. EVERYTHING at a SA is for a purpose and has been well thought out. Many times.
     
  19. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Many of us live too far away for a weekend.......if we do get to go, it is very expensive plane trip, missed days at work, etc. And we may or may not get to spend time with mid. Lots of parents reading this do not have the option for a weekend in Annapolis.


    BHMom, that unexpected overnight was for the mids (NOT the parents!), and hopefully it did your son plenty of good. Many, most, nearly ALL the mids enjoyed that unexpected pleasure, in a variety of ways.


    Your mid needs to figure out to call his sponsor family. You should not need to tell him what to do!


    Do you really think your mid sulked around DTA all evening? I have a feeling your mid is complaining to you, but enjoyed the extra bit of freedom all the same. In my observation, mids complain about a variety of things: one example: it is hard (ok, impossible) to find a current mid who enjoys formal parades. But the bleachers at Worden Field, the stadium seats during the march on, etc are filled with former mids, some with young families, some retired military and ALL of them are going on about how good the mids marching look, etc. It is a phenomenon I have observed whereby when at USNA, there are many horrible, awful things they must endure, but once they graduate and are commissioned, USNA was the best experience on the planet and they wouldn't trade it for anything! It is human nature.

    Good Heavens! Focus on the positive! Your man-child is experiencing the opportunity of a lifetime. Mine is only a 3/C, yet has participated in amphib landings with 14 other countries in Southern California, flown in marine helos, shot 25mm guns of some variety off a ship in the Pacific, sailed in through Pearl Harbor to Hawaii, become scuba certified, sailed up and down the eastern seaboard under the tutelage of a retired admiral......I could go on and on and on. He feels he is "living the dream" and I can assure you he doesn't give a damn about his friends who are eating pizza on the couch and staying up late. Except maybe to feel sorry for them.


    Your son has someone to ask why and what, that someone wears a uniform and demands to be called "Sir" or "Ma'am", but they are the support system, the family, the unit right now.

    You are the one who needs the explanations, etc. Not your mid. Turn to us on the forum for all that. Don't commiserate with your mid, it will only make matters worse.
     
  20. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    Excellent post JP. Our kids have the chance of a lifetime! My son is experiencing things that his highschool classmates will only dream of. I can hear the pride in his voice when he calls and tells us the next big adventure he is on. Please BH Mom, shift your thoughts to the positive! We do not want our mids to rely on us at this point. It is time for them to rely on themselves and seek answers from those around them. My son is learning things: some the easy way, and some the hard way. This is normal. If they wanted to stay out all night or stay up until 3 a.m. watching TV, they would not have chosen a service academy.
     
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