The First Phone Call – Some thoughts for you
During the first call of Plebe Summer, we were quiet and listened. There were lots of stories, requests for items that were needed, requests for addresses of friends, positive vibes, but all in all, we were one of the lucky ones. Our kids were happy to be there. We made sure that before we said good bye, we reminded our Plebe that one day soon will be THEIR day.
What does this mean? Well, no matter what they do, right or wrong, perfect or not, no matter how hard they try, it is going to be one of those days where Murphy’s Law will apply. We also prayed big time with them and reminded our two Plebes that God swung the doors wide on this opportunity, so God had already equipped them for victory.
Two weeks later for our second call when our Plebe called he sounded tired. He asked us if we remembered how we kept on telling him that there was going to one day that was his day, and he proceeded to tell us all about HIS day, which had occurred about a week before. (I wrote about this in my last blog and it is in my book, A USNA Mom’s Journal). It was a tough day but he gave a sigh of relief – “his day” had come and gone and he had survived!! That was something he felt really good about.
You can remind your Plebe that one day soon, if it hasn’t happened already, it will be HIS/HER day…and that is OK. They can get through it!
The image below is of our first Mid’s second call… Since this was the second call, the Detailers were not as formal about it. For the first call, they made the Plebes stand at attention, saluting the whole time! Since the current Plebes are not sworn in yet the Detailers should leave the Plebes alone but we will find out soon. With our daughter we ended up having 40 minutes for the first call and our son was 25 on the dot. Sometimes we had slightly less time so make the most of it! Also, keep in mind :
- The call may be late sometimes by a lot or even a little early. Be available for the window and reserve time before and after just to be sure;
- The number calling may not be theirs – they may have to use a Detailer’s phone if their battery is dead or have other issues;
- Although the times are coordinated, it is Company dependent (as I discussed in my book) whether the call is on time or not. This depends on the activities that are going on.
We had positive calls for the most part, but what IF your call does not go the way you hope? I will post on this as we get closer to the call.Here are some suggestions for the first call, but as always do what is best for your Plebe:
- Write down any questions you may have or things you need to tell your Plebe BEFORE your call. When you hear their voice, you will probably be so excited that you won’t remember what you wanted to ask.
- The clock is ticking and time flies! You will have about 30 minutes. Also, I would suggest inviting the girl/boyfriend over to maximize the time on the call and to help make sure that you get to talk.
- Be aware that Plebes can make as many calls as they want during the time allowed. Hopefully you are the first call. Also, if they ask to cut the time short, try not to take it personally. Our oldest wanted to call a few friends so for one of the calls we finished a few minutes early.
- Take notes! Your Plebe may mention something that you may not want to forget.
- Reception in Bancroft is horrible so most likely they will be outside for their call.
- Yes! I wanted to ask a gazillion questions, but it is more important to LISTEN… and listen some more! (It’s really, really hard!!! I discuss the importance in my book).
- We put him on speaker phone and we let him know that. This allowed everyone to listen in together. It was actually pretty fun!
- We had a plan to keep our Plebe informed as time allowed, and he really appreciated it. I discuss this at length in my book as well.
- It really is your Plebe’s time to reach out to home so allow them to set the pace. We are home in familiar surroundings, with friends and family around. They are still getting acclimated and getting to know their squad and the routine. This is their first contact with home in about two weeks, so give them a little room.
- We found it helpful to divide the time – assuming that our Plebe spoke for 15 minutes we planned on about 10 for the family, although technically you have more time.
- If you have a significant other (we didn’t at the time) feel free to invite her/him over. This may help to maximize your time instead of having the last five minutes and having to be rushed…just a thought.
I hope these are helpful and remember, we are a message away!