Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Over half way through – next week will be FOUR weeks down! By now you are probably adept at Waldo hunting, the house may still feel empty but you are coping – that does not mean you don’t miss your Plebe, you are just learning to adjust just like they are.

Some of you, like certain Plebe parents that I know, may be stretching yourselves beyond your comfort zone and are taking on my Plebe Summer Challenge – With that said, I have seen many company pages popping up so a big thank you to the industrious parents for Connecting with Others and Connecting Creatively and creating those pages. They will be your life line throughout the next four years, and especially Plebe Year.

If your wheels are spinning and you are thinking of planning a company parent get together during PPW, that is great initiative and means that you are connecting on several levels of my challenge. By all means feel free to have a meet and greet for fellow company parents – either the night before, on Thursday or the early morning on Friday morning- are ideal times and hopefully everyone can join.

My fellow 15th Company parents and I chose at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning before we saw out Plebes and met at Nimitz Library coffee shop (not sure if it will be open but a call can confirm). There are many other options that I will list below. My only caveat is, as I mention in my book, A USNA Mom’s Journal, although you may become good friends with parents in your Plebe’s company, that does not translate to your Plebes being fast friends, so it is a good idea to be cognizant of that before you begin planning get togethers that include your Plebes as well.

If you are meeting fellow company parents, you could meet the on Thursday of PPW. Federal House by City Dock is great and they have delicious crab cakes – I think they have a room upstairs where you could meet. Iron Rooster or the Naval Academy Club (may require membership and require access to the Yard) may be good options too.

If you are thinking in DTA, Harry Browne, on church circle, is a family favorite. They have a bar upstairs and also have a room that overlooks the Capitol with capacity for 17 or 18 people and is a nice space to reserve beforehand for great appetizers and dinner. Within 5 to 10 minutes’ walking distance of DTA is Blackwall Hitch in Eastport. They have some larger tables that can seat 14 or 15 and they also have several individual private dining rooms that may work well. That would be more of a dinner option.

You can also meet at Metropolitan bar – they have an upstairs terrace that, if open, is nice depending on the weather and The Fox’s Den or Dry 85 on Main Street in DTA are also good options depending on the number of people. West Street also has some cool restaurants that may work. Know that most options will require reservations in advance and a head count.

Meeting company parents is great and offers you support along the journey and you will likely find one or more “battle buddies” in this group.

Now is also a good time to begin thinking about PPW – what would your Plebe like? Some may want the entire family, some like my second Plebe, having learned from her brother’s PPW experience, may only want immediate family present – parents, MidSibs, and maybe puppies. House rental or hotel? I discuss this at length in my book. Episode 2 of my Podcast with Julie Haller may be helpful as well. And remember to ask your Plebe what they would like during your second phone call on August 1st.

Thinking toward the AC Year, your Mids will be able to buy their class supplies and textbooks at the Midstore. They will be given a stipend and their expenses can be paid from there, or you can send them a little extra to help cover expenses like printer paper, printer ink, etc. I would like to mention that this is a great exercise personal in finances as Plebes and Mids learn to formulate spending budgets with their small stipend and stay within their earnings.

Pretty much everything else they can purchase at the Midstore or text book store on the Yard. If you choose to bring extra school supplies, I would wait until they are settled in their permanent quarters for the ACYear. Remember that storage is limited and that they will most likely move to new quarters in their actual company area when the Brigade reforms prior to the start of the ACYear. Whatever you bring for them during PPW they will have to move to their new rooms. And – oh – Plebes do not “rate” elevators so moving will may involve lots of stairs and at times, depending on what Wing they are located at, walking across long distances. My second Plebe had to walk across a parking lot because it was a shorter distance than walking through the hallways, and quarters were on the top deck so they had to climb 5 or 6 flights of “ladders”. They can let you know what they need once the ACYear begins and Amazon is also an easy solution.

Know that you are not alone, that those that have walked before you are here to help! I encourage you to join the Plebe Summer Challenge and to listen to my Podcast – I have four fun-filled Episodes so far!

As always, just a message away! Hang in there and GO NAVY!!