The final count down!

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by LadderdaddyO, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. LadderdaddyO

    LadderdaddyO Founding Member

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    I'm sitting here and can't believe that my baby will be leaving our house in a couple of days ( I can give exact hours if you really need a count down). After l everyones advice and hours of research preparing for the up coming day. I find myself lost,dazed and confused. I will miss her, I'm sure all these young men and woman are great kids, but this kid was mine and one of the finest people I've meet. There isn't enough time to prepare for her leaving. I know what to send her for the first care package. She has compiled all her paperwork for I-day.She is still in the process of knocking off her bucket list. But I'm not F ing ready!! Sorry for the F word but this is going to be rough. I'm sure some detailer are surfing this site looking for dirt on incoming plebes. If you are and hold this against her I will hunt you down. I'll be the biggest dad crying on I-Day. Just needed to vent and would like to thank everyone for all of your help SO FAR.
     
  2. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    We feel the same. This is our youngest and it is tough to send him off.
     
  3. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I think you have to ask yourself if you feel this way because she is going away to the United States Naval Academy or, simply, because she is going away.

    Would it make any difference if you had to drive her off to the University of Whatever and drop her off?

    Your daughter will be on a safe campus.

    She will be looked after better than any other school she could have gone to.

    She will eat three great meals a day. She will not have to exist on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and Ramen noodles like most, economizing, college students do. Or - skip meals altogether.

    She'll wear clean clothes and live in a clean room (or else!)

    She's not going to get in a car accident. She's not going to get hooked on drugs. She's not going to attend wild fraternity/sorority parties. She is not going to be hanging out with the "wrong" crowd.

    Her health will be of concern to those around her. She will not be just another block filled-in on an Excel spreadsheet. People will know her name and care about her - even those who may, seemingly, make her life not so pleasant. :smile:

    She will be getting a great education from great professors ... unlike other universities where the marquee professors never actually teach, but simply send a barely-qualified TA (teacher's aide) to do the all the teaching & grading.

    Relax.

    She'll be fine. I know you're going to miss her - that's normal. But you should take heart in that your daughter is definitely on the right track in life. You should remind her of that at every opportunity because there may come a time (maybe in the very near future) when you may have to encourage her instead of showing her your sentimental side.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    To touch on one thing above, while internet wasn't available in my day, I doubt that detailers have the time or inclination to troll these boards, let alone to find "dirt" to use against the plebes.

    Plebes will be judged on their performance not on what their fathers or mothers may have written on internet boards.:smile: ALL plebes will be challenged, yelled at, etc. It's part of the process.

    As for not being ready . . . remember that it's tough for your daughter as well. I'm sure she is really excited and that's all tinged with a bit of fear/anticipation of the unknown. The great news is that, as Memphis says, USNA will care about her like virtually no other non-SA institution in the world. And, she will begin to make new friends, who will last a lifetime.

    Change is hard, very hard. But it's necessary and, in the long run, a good thing for all.
     
  5. gonavy2015

    gonavy2015 Member

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    I really appreciated this perspective. Thank you.
     
  6. 2014-scada

    2014-scada Parent

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    Big Hug

    Come here Memphis...I need to hug somebody! Thanks for that perspective!

    :worship: GO NAVY!
     
  7. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    So many parents go through this ... and it is tough on us! The best advice: Pin that smile on in the morning ... and make sure you are there after swearing in ... with that same smile ... then, and not until then, you can cry ...


    The hug you get on PPW is the best ever ... and never seems to end ... hang on to that

    write upbeat letters nearly every day ... send packages ...
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can't emphasize enough how important letters are. Real snail mail written on real paper. When I was at USNA, my father wrote me every single day. 7 days a week. I can't tell you how great it was going to the mailbox and having a letter there almost every day (some days, I got >1, some days 0). I don't think that many mids got more letters from one person that I did.:biggrin:

    He caught me up on the minutiae and also provided encouragement. I still have many of those letters -- wish now I'd saved every one, although I'd probably need a separate room to store them.

    My mother, not a letter writer, sent me clippings from the local papers. All sorts of stuff -- made me feel a bit less lonely. I realize that, once the plebes have access to the Internet, this might not be as useful. However, in my day, it was great.
     
  9. MIDNDAD

    MIDNDAD Member

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    Ladder
    Three years ago I was you. For 18 years my daughter had me 100% wrapped around her finger, and I enjoyed every moment. I-Day is an enormously emotional day as a parent. The primary emotion is pride in your child for wanting to and actually accomplishing the goal of acceptance to the Naval Academy and all that means. The secondary emotion is sadness because you realize one of the most important people in your life will not be part of your everyday life ever again. You also, realize this is your daughter's goal, and life and this is what makes her happy, so you suck it up. You will get through I-Day and there are things to look forward to:

    Letters from your plebe during plebe summer.

    PPW - Seeing her in summer whites will take your breath away, you get to be "dad" for 3 days

    AC year starts - Communications are back, life for all is better.

    Thanksgiving - First Leave and she's home for 4 days! It's all good.

    Fast forward 3 years - It's been a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. That former plebe is now a super-confident Midshipman, who is a Company XO for plebe summer. Ladder, 3 years from now, you will be me and it's all good. Have faith and confidence in your daughter, just like you have had for 18 years. You will get through I-day.
     
  10. USNA13DAD

    USNA13DAD Member

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    A year later

    I day. Moms get to cry, Dads get to wear sunglasses. A year later in retrospect it was a good day, just didnt seem like it at the time. :thumb:

    Just hope you get a break from this weather, I was in Annapolis yesterday and it was extremely hot and humid.
     
  11. AbbyDog

    AbbyDog New Member

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    It's great to read everyone's posts.

    Our son's Dad and I are busying ourselves with laundry and errands and a gazillion thoughts running silently through each of our minds, as our son squeezes out the last possible hours of time with friends. (Playing basketball though which we don't think is such a good idea the day before leaving!)

    USNA1985, I think that is a perfect description of what many of our kids, as well as parents, may be feeling: "...probably really excited and that's all tinged with a bit of fear/anticipation of the unknown."

    I don't know what everyone's beliefs on this forum are, but I find comfort in this scripture: "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV). Something to think about...change is a blessing. Hard, but a blessing.

    I have actually been practicing visualizing me smiling when I hug him goodbye and what I'm going to say. Sounds crazy, but it's worked for me many times before when I know I'm going to be stressed, such as public speaking or saying goodbye. (What I can't really anticipate though is all the goodbyes and tears going on around me! That could be the drop that causes my "cup to run over"! :eek:)

    Best of luck to everyone and safe travels!
     
  12. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    ok i think the F word was appropriate for this feeling---proud of DS -proud of where his life is going and the fact he has a great head on his shoulder. the f word here is descriptive of my heart breaking because if he had stayed here and gone to the PUBLIC university he would be a max of 3 hours away. Yes my tears are for the distance -and the lack of communication for the 6 weeks-but they are also tears of pride and respect. i am the one who still puts my hand over my heart EVERY TIME I HEAR OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM AND I AM THE TYPE TO THANK EVERY MILITARY PERSON I SEE FOR THEIR SERVICE. many combined emotions --many-----
     
  13. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    Jeez, how I feel for you. I was a hopeless wreck on I-Day. A hopeless f'ing wreck.

    I highly recommend over-preparing -- kid's carry-in, second-guessing hotel, timing, heat, initial care package, etc. Also, worry about the distance, and feel as if your particular location makes you extra-susceptible to pain. Ask questions on this site that feel ridiculous, and will probably generate a fair number of irrelevant responses. Do all that to keep out of your plebe-to-be's hair, and distract yourself!

    I-Day is an enormous milestone, but it's only one milestone. They come in clumps when your kid chooses this path. I-Day felt kind of lonely to me, but that was my fault. 1200 families were in the same boat, and I can't even do the math on how many families before my Mid's year experienced this peculiar set of emotions. Eventually, I've figured out: you're supposed to be emotional. It's a big deal. Just keep making it about your kid, not about you. For me, that was the challenge.

    It's hard and sometimes awful, but your kid can succeed if s/he wants. Take comfort in USNA being so selective. Your plebe wouldn't be a plebe if Academy admissions wasn't confident s/he could make it.

    When I was pregnant w/ my oldest and in various states of discomfort, I found bizarre comfort in reminding myself, "Hey, cave women did this. Can't you?" (I'm glad I asked myself this before Geico's caveman ad campaign began, as I tend to be unnecessarily empathetic w/ faux characters.) I remembered that on I-Day, and asked myself more than once, "If tens of thousands of parents have survived this, why can't you? Man UP." Pre-I-Day feels like the biggest deal in the world, but as your Mid moves forward, you'll find it's only one of the biggest deals in the world. No one's going to harm your kid @ USNA, you know s/he is a star who can perform w/ the best of them, and your whole family is going to be OK for four years.

    Starting on I-Day, your kid will be trained to be w/ being one of many. You might find comfort in being the parent of one of many. If you don't, try. Those others are parents to kids as special as yours, and they're just as freaked out as you are. You'll find lots of company on the USNA Parents' ListServ.

    My Mid's going to be detailer/cadre member for the second half of plebe summer. I promise you he has no desire to imperil your son/daughter. He wants your kid to work hard, as he did, and frankly, he wants the leadership experience of helping your kid succeed. As for you on I-Day, go ahead and forget your umbrella, bring your Mid the wrong drink, miss your shot @ a front row seat for the oath of office -- the day will be memorable no matter what. And your plebe will be happy just to have you there.

    Cavemen trained to protect their territory; your kid can, too. Really -- it's going to be OK. Try to enjoy this. Like PPW, your first Army-Navy game, and all the rest of this USNA stuff: it's what your kid dreamed of achieving. Make it a positive, once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can do this!
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Here you go if you want the official clocks:

    http://www.usna.org/events.html

    You can check years, weeks, days and minutes to PPW, Ring Dance and Graduation:thumb:

    Only 334 to go.:biggrin:
     
  15. NewNavyMom

    NewNavyMom Member

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    What a riot! I LOVE the clocks! Bookmarked it. Thanks!
     
  16. jpjades

    jpjades Member

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    I know this question may have been asked, but will there be a live stream of The Oath of Office? My Mid is home on leave and it would be great to watch and relive a little bit of I-Day last year. Good luck to all the in coming Plebes! It is an amazing ride, and yes, I know all of the feelings you all are going through!
     
  17. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    That is TOOOOOOOOOOOO funny! :yllol:
     
  18. xcrunner91

    xcrunner91 New Member

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    Just to comment on an earlier point I saw, detailers will and likely already have looked at the facebook pages of incoming plebes in their company. I got the word a little late but luckily I didn't have anything too embarrassing, but if you or your son/daughter has a funny picture or something like that expect it to be printed out and used against them (this happened last year). Apparently the ingenuity of detailers in harassing plebes is impressive so I guess we all need to expect things like this.
     
  19. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    • Mail 1st care package: check
    • Write 1st letter to mail in Annapolis: check
    • Go over paperwork for I-Day w/son: check
    • Haircut: check (not a buzz cut, but got rid of the swoop :wink:)
    • Make sure son has everything packed and ready: check (probably my last time to do this particular "mom" thing, wholly unnecessary as son was completely on top of things but a comfort for me...sniffle :frown:)

    Now I just have to pack for myself, note: don't forget the tissues!

    Took the family to see "Toy Story 3" over the weekend. Andy is packed up for college, mom walks into his boxed up bedroom and gasps...This mom began crying at that point and cried throughout the rest of the movie. What a fitting final movie to watch with my baby who is about to begin his journey to manhood.

    See you guys on Thursday!
     
  20. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Sometimes I'm glad all this electronic crap didn't exist in my day. :cool:
     

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