Some thoughts on the upcoming Commissioning for my fellow Warrior Parents. I am definitely a list person, so as we got closer to Commissioning Week, I began a check list to make sure nothing slipped through the cracks. Commissioning can be a very overwhelming affair and some people (like me the first time around!) can go a bit overboard. I definitely learned that for my second Mid, I needed to relax and take a deep breath… My advice? stop and take a breath… it will all work out!
As I was going through my list with some friends, I noticed they began to get very anxious. It occurred to me that everyone does things in their own way. The bottom line is to celebrate our Firsties and our efforts in supporting them.
It is NOT necessary to do EVERYTHING others are doing for commissioning – there will be many posts and many great ideas so it can become very overwhelming very quickly! Bottom line, we decided that it should be mostly what our Firstie wanted out of the week. During CW our Firstie was very busy with duties and had tons to do at the Academy, so our priority became to give him space and let him relax when he could. Our family was also VERY cognizant of time because this is the last week that class mates and room mates get to spend time with one another before they are scattered to the four winds for potentially many years.
As I mention in my book, “A USNA Mom’s Journal“, and my Commissioning Bootcamp podcast episode, I only asked my son for three things that entire week: 1. Availability for the company party that I organized for his company; 2. A meal with his friends on Wednesday morning after practice; and 3. For him to be available for the family dinner the Thursday evening before Commissioning. We also prepped our family and set expectations, especially the grandparents. We let our guests know in advance that they probably would no see our Firstie very much during the week, and if they did, he would probably be “on the go”. This helped to set more realistic expectations, helped to avoid hurt feelings, and everyone had a great time.
As it turned out, we ended up seeing a lot of our son. He spent time with his friends, went to gatherings, parties, dinners, etc. but was home early to avoid any issues before Commissioning, and in the end, he just wanted to hang out with all of us!
We were able to host his friends and he honored my requests. We placed no pressure on him at all and I think that is what helped him to feel relaxed at the house and to enjoy being there with friends. It was the most amazing week of our life and are so glad that we gave our son the leeway he needed to have. We saw many friends that we had made over the years, and while our son was out and about, we were out and about with friends too. We had dinner with the Roomie parents – we became very close over the four years, as did our Mids. The Company party was the overall favorite event for our Firstie and his friends along with the reception with the Supe, so we were glad to have gone through that effort. There is so much to do and so much to NOT miss! It will be a whirlwind and be over before you know it, but it will be so worth it!
For ideas, planning tips, a detailed checklist, Commissioning Resources, and to learn more about what what to expect for Commissioning Week, check out my book, “A USNA Mom’s Journal” and shop. You may find that my checklist, ready-to-use- Powerpoint, and a Commissioning Guest Booklet filled with useful information for guests, family, and friends can be helpful. You will also find favors such as customizable MidPins, class year stone coasters, and other items can make cute keepsakes and gifts. A portion of net proceeds are always donated to the Chaplain’s Fund.
As always, if you have any questions I am a message away and will be glad to try to help with any questions that you may have. We are N*avy family and we are in this together!