Time… time is a very valuable commodity especially at the Naval Academy and especially during Plebe Summer and the AC Year. Your Plebe, and Mids in general, will not have enough of it to go around and will have to choose something to sacrifice that will not get their full attention and invariably garner the ire of the Upperclass. But that is the method behind the madness. Your Plebes will have to learn to prioritize and do it quickly.
They will also learn to put their Squad and Company before themselves. They will have a full plate and every minute of every day will be accounted for. With that in mind, consider creating a Plebe Summer form letter where all they have to do is fill in the blank or circle an answer. Pre-addressed stamped envelopes are also very helpful and a huge timesaver. Look at my post (Facebook – MidMoms and More Group) on pre-printed form letters earlier this month. And of course, as Plebe Summer begins after ROM is over, brace yourself for even less information from them, except by letter or on the scheduled phone call. Waldo hunting will be ever more important, and learning to let go will be paramount in the next few weeks.
In my book, A USNA Mom’s Journal, I discuss time during the ACYear as well. It will be helpful to set expectations at a lower level. Your Plebe will not have time to call or text all the time. I remember once Plebe Summer was over and the ACYear began, even though my Plebe had their phone back, there were limits to when they could use it (see my post on “Company Dependent”), When I texted during the week, many times I would not receive a reply for days, and sometimes even a week or more. Know that this is part of the process. Remember that they are prioritizing. It is not about you – let yourself off the hook and try not to take it personally.
As we approach the start of Plebe Summer, use YOUR time wisely. Remember the Challenge – Rise Early & Connect Spiritually, Get Physical, Connect with Others, Get Busy with something you enjoy, and try to Make a Difference – serve in your own way with our children in mind.
Warrior Parents That have walked before you are here to help. Hang in there – we have your Six!