A Mid and the Navy Mom “Mafia” Story
The original title for this post was just “Navy Mom Mafia” – definitely unflattering and controversial due to the negative connotation of the word “mafia” on the reputations of us Navy Moms. But at the heart of my inspiration to write this post is a story about a Mid and what that Mid once said to me. And it all started like this…
I vividly remember meeting a fellow Navy Mom’s Mid. I had met this Mid in passing, but I had heard about him at length from his Mom, had seen his image several times, and I felt as if I knew him already. And yes, I considered him “my Mid” too! How many of us feel the same way? Probably all of Navy and military Moms and families in general, right? The branch of service does not tend to matter too much (unless it is a football weekend) because in the end, we are all on the same team.
In any case I ran into this young man at USNA going into Gate 1. He was leaving for Friday liberty ( 2/C at the time) and I called out to him by name. His head whipped around and he looked at me as if saying, “Excuse me, but do I know you? You look vaguely familiar…but… do I know you???” In his eyes, for just a second, I saw that he was unsettled as he searched his mind for a connection. Of course, a Mid being a Mid, that lasted about a second, and he greeted me ever so politely. I proceeded to introduce myself – “I am a friend of your Mom… from the parents club? I met you at the Welcome Aboard and then again at… ” When I explained how I knew his Mom, well, the light bulb went on and after a few pleasantries, he proceeded to tell me, “You Navy Moms are everywhere! You are like a Navy Mom mafia!” To which I replied, “Yes, yes we are!” I gave him a parting hug on behalf of his Mom (wouldn’t you?) and he even let me take a picture to text to her. If you are a Navy Mom or Dad, I am sure that you have lived this story out for yourself at some point in your journey.
Family, loyalty, friendship, unconditional acceptance, immediate connection; what you care about becomes what I care about – I mean your Mid is my Mid, right? So in a sense, we N*avy Moms could be considered a “mafia” of sorts .
Yup! Navy Moms are everywhere! I can’t tell you how many random pictures I have received of my sons and daughter at various stages of their journey from Navy Moms living all over the place! Someone happened to see them, talk to them, and snapped a pic to send to Mom. Or how many times has a conversation started because of an anchor, someone wearing blue and gold, or a USNA or Navy shirt, bag, hat, or jacket? I know that I am guilty!
This is just one of many of encounters with Mids while visiting the Yard over the past eight years. Other instances of Navy Moms being everywhere remind me of when our local parents club hosted the USNA Men’s Glee Club (twice!) and the USNA Gospel Choir. We adopted these 160+ Mids and their dedicated staff. My daughter, now an Officer, was in high school at the time, and had started an organization that sent packages to our deployed men and women in military service. She took it upon herself to put together over 300 care packages for every single member and staff of those various USNA groups that visited our area. We would meet them at the airport or their hotel with waters, food, and the custom printed, snack-filled backpacks. They were really “our Mids” until the day they left – and many times, afterward too!
Navy Moms and Dads care deeply for reach other and for our Mids’ well being. If a Mom or family member is ill, we are there with encouraging messages, thoughts, and prayers. When one of my Mids was hospitalized, we had fellow Navy Moms, both local and from around the country, reach out with prayers and encouragement. Some were able to stop by and visit or send flowers, cards, and some even brought a hone cooked meal for us… I can’t tell you what that meant to me, my Mid, and my family during that difficult time. Yes N*avy Moms are family – whether we know each other or not and we stick together for our Mids and for each other. Only we fully understand each other’s journey and can really lean on each other unconditionally.
N*avy Moms are also resilient: We work the problem and find a solution. I recently attended an unofficial Parent Weekend for the Class of 2022. This class missed their 2/C Parents Weekend due to CoVid. Not seeing their Mid and going to classes, no King Hall, no helping to choose class rings… But a handful of amazing Navy Moms from that class took it upon themselves to organize a “make up” weekend. This unofficial weekend began with an event on Thursday evening, a tour of the campus on Friday, a fabulous tailgate – certainly the best one I have ever attended (and we have had the opportunity to attend some pretty cool ones!). And of course, after the tailgate was the football game. These Navy Moms did not give up. They planned, coordinated, negotiated, organized, communicated, distributed tickets, set up, broke down, decorated, and so much more in order to make this event happen. I am blessed to have been a small part of it. What a privilege to see them come together and make it work! They are the epitome of “Don’t Give Up The Ship!”
And don’t get a Navy Mom annoyed or angry… just know that Navy Moms can move the world together. If just one of them sends out a call to action, especially about something related to their Mid, let’s just say, airlines and the world beware!
Navy Moms also hold down the fort – our kids walk a very different path. Less than one per cent of the population in our country chooses to serve. In a world of uncertainty, minimal communications, OPSEC, danger, and constant change, we remain constant. We worry, we pray, but we are strong. One of my mentors said in one of my recent podcasts, that our job as military Moms and parents is not to wring our hands with worry, but to be strong and give affirmation to our Mids and Officers that they CAN do this; that they are the best; and that they will be successful despite any trials that may come. We ae strong warrior Moms and Dads with deep pride and conviction in what our children have chosen to do and the path they have chosen to follow.
In all things, Navy Moms are there for each other no matter what. Through thick and thin, good times to be celebrated and difficulties to be overcome; through sadness and joy; loss and mourning as well. Our family and many others still pay visits to the USNA cemetery where several of the Mids that our Navy community has lost throughout the years are resting. We stop by, say a prayer, and speak their name out loud. The pain is great for the all of us. We mourn, grieve and love – together.
All I know is that Navy Moms – and Dads too – care deeply about each other’s Mids – whether we know them or not. We care about each other too. They do what they can to help when needed, sometimes going above and beyond – like driving someone else’s Mid to the airport at four a.m. or driving ten hours to pick up a Mid that got stranded – yes that really happened and no, it was not me that drove 10 hours. Thank you Navy Moms!
We are warrior Moms and Dads; we have each other’s six; we Don’t Give Up (the Ship); and we leave no Mid, Mom or Dad, behind. It is very reassuring and humbling to be a part of the Navy family but it can also be mind boggling. And imagine how our kids feel – they can’t ever get away because we are everywhere!
We do belong to an amazing family, don’t we? And it is no wonder that our Midshipmen and Officers are such remarkable people! Were you able to decide on your answer? Was that Mid correct? Are we like a Navy Moms “mafia… What say you?