Whaat! Six Weeks Down!

Hang in there Plebe Parents – You are almost at the finish line!

Now that you are closer to seeing your sons and daughters, I am so happy and can’t wait for you to see them in their shining summer whites. Get ready!! You will be amazed, overjoyed, proud, emotional, and so much more! It is the most amazing feeling to give them a hug and see them again!

The Baysox Bowie game was this past weekend and it was the first time that Plebes wore their Summer Whites. This was also their first time off the Yard. They have been under the watchful eye and careful training of their Detailers, and this is the first time that they can prove just what they have learned…Will they remember “others before self” and make choices that were beneficial to their squad? Or are they going to return to Week 1 and think of themselves first without regard to how their actions will affect their squad and their company?

It is very tempting to borrow a phone from a stranger or another parent that may be there to call Mom and Dad or to go “meet Mom or Dad by the bathroom,”… but after 5+ weeks of Plebe Summer training, are they, and us as parents, willing to throw it all away being so close to the finish line? Are they willing to get their Squad punished? Because it has happened, and many who have tried have also sacrificed time with their family during PPW as a consequence… I hope this was not you nor your Plebe!

You may hear advice from some parents about meeting your Plebe when you are not supposed to, at the game or at chapel, or giving them things that they are not allowed to have, or sending items with friends to be given at the game or elsewhere… And here is where the rubber meets the road – are we as parents going to be complicit in encouraging our kids to do the wrong thing, or are we going to encourage them to do the right thing? Will we bring civvies for them to wear during PPW or will we stick to the allowed PT gear? Trust me! They will learn to navigate the system, test the system – all within bounds and sometimes out of bounds. That is part of what they will learn.

To illustrate, during Plebe Year, our oldest joined a club in which he had no real interest so that he could go off campus with the group during their outings – he did it “legally”. They will learn to maneuver and solve problems. That is what they MUST do as Naval Officers! But crossing over the line is a whole different matter, especially at this juncture.

If your son or daughter REALLY needs an item, they will find it, or their squad/company mates will help them. That is what is supposed to happen. When we introduce ourselves to the equation, we may want to “fix it” as we have done all their lives, but we interfere with that process.

During Plebe year, one of our good friends’ Plebe had a company mate that got moved out of her room and could not take anything with her. This company mate had not been very kind to our friend’s Plebe. Regardless, and putting others before self, our friends’ Plebe offered her company mate use of her uniforms, computer, and whatever she needed while her room and everything in it was out of commission. This not only earned our friend’s Plebe the respect of her company but also from the company mate and this helped to bridge their differences.

That is not to say that Mids will not push the boundaries, because they do. Messy rooms, unmade beds, and being occasionally argumentative at home, are all a reflection that they follow the rules – but home is the one place that they feel they should not have to….

On the Yard, they will find ways to work the rules in their favor, always walking the thin line, but rarely crossing over the line. We personally know of at least a dozen Plebes from our Midshipmen’s classes that have been separated from the Academy due to bad decisions – at least five of them during their Plebe year and some for making the same bad choice more than once!

Let’s try to help our Plebes to do the right thing, but it starts with us as parents. So I ask that you please be patient… Your Plebe will survive and will find a way to solve the problem! This may be a good time to let things go.

I have included below a picture of our oldest at the game. As tempted as we were to go, we did not. We found this image on Plebe Summer photos. At the time, the Alumni Association did not run the photo program… What a sight for sore eyes! It was so worth the wait! Share your images from the baseball game below!

As always, we are all here to help. All you have to do is ask.


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