July 8, 2012

You Know You’re a Plebe Parent if…

from one of the many USNA parent networks. It all starts with a sense of humoraerial campus

You Know You’re a PLEBE PARENT When…

  • you somehow work into every conversation that your child is a Midshipman at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
  • you find any excuse to break out that picture of your Plebe taken during PPW in their Summer Whites and show it to everyone you know, and even to people you don’t know!
  • You rush home from work each day to check the USNA-Net Photo Gallery and the Dropshots website for pictures of your Plebe.
  • you buy blue and gold sugar to decorate your Christmas cookies…and don’t understand why others buy green and red.
  • your other children groan, roll their eyes at you and say, “You’re Obsessed!”
  • you know that the “Yard” is not that unmowed patch of grass that surrounds your house.
  • you actually know the words to “Anchors Aweigh”
  • you skip your neighbor’s wedding to wait for that all too fast, once a week, 5 minute phone call — and then he doesn’t call til the next day!
  • you are on a first name basis with the local Post Office staff.
  • you can’t get dressed without at least one item from the Mid Store.
  • you feel guilty enjoying air conditioning during Plebe Summer and beyond.
  • if YOU lost weight during Plebe Summer.
  • you cry every time you hear the hymn “Eternal Father.”
  • Blue and Gold have suddenly become your favorite colors.
  • you live on the net hoping the elusive message will arrive.
  • you have pre-I Day photos on your desk beside those taken over Parents’ Week so that you can see the new maturity on your mid’s face.
  • you worry about the Bancroft roaches that might hitch a ride to your house during Thanksgiving leave.
  • the sight of the engraved marble slab in Memorial Hall makes tears spring to your eyes.
  • you begin to use nautical terms and find that you understand them.
  • you know that your mid lost more weight over Plebe Summer than the Academy acknowledges.
  • you check the mail every day the way you did when you were in college.
  • your identity becomes inseparable from your mids and even your signature contains a reference to him/her.
  • you sent a taller appointee to I-Day than the one the Academy measured. (…interesting way to camouflage weight loss.}
  • the Academy website and USNA-Net are among your list of frequently visited pages.
  • the National Anthem has taken on an entirely different meaning.
  • you look at your clock every night at “lights out” and thank God your plebe is in the rack, off his/her feet and not being grilled!
  • receiving e-mail longer than 4 lines makes you fall to your knees in thanksgiving.
  • you see the world in terms of suitability for care packages: “good box for care Package,” “good care package item”, “too perishable for care package”, “good storage container for Bancroft”, etc.
  • your prayers include lines like “and please, God, let [my midn] NOT be one of those on crutches at the game” or “help me to appreciate all upperclassmen…even those on the hall who seem to have sadistic tendencies” …
  • your friends start to groan/roll their eyes when you start to talk (again) about your mid, the Yard, the Academy
  • you have spent at least 15 minutes since the beginning of August trying to absolve yourself for thinking someone OTHER than your son was in fact your child….
  • you have at least one picture of a good looking plebe you actually thought was your own child, in some formation…you don’t know who he or she is, but you can’t bring yourself to throw away the print…after all, these are members of the Brigade!
  • you look for ANY excuse that brings you within a 100 mile radius of Baltimore on business … “no, really, I think I do need to brush up on legal issues surrounding maritime patents”
  • when they forecast the course of the NEXT hurricane, you find yourself worried if it’s heading to the mid-Atlantic states…and you live in Kansas
  • you have Anchor’s Aweigh playing on the answering machine
  • your voice mail says Beat Army every time you have mail
  • “Annapolis” means much more to you now than it did when it was just the capital of Maryland!
  • you shoot a full 36 roll of film of your mid “wearing the same white uniform” and think your friends are as anxious to see them as you are.

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Jacqui Murray wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger,IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.