So Jay and I are having this discussion with a friend who’s a Navy SEAL. Or more specifically, a SWCC (say, “swick”). SWCC stands for Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman.
Wowsers, I thought. If that doesn’t describe motherhood at a soccer game…
I felt a little wistful later. The Navy’s always had a special appeal to me. I almost joined the Navy out of high school almost 30 years ago. Perhaps it’s this midlife thing again…I begin the downward slide to 50 manana. Or maybe it’s my teensy weensy crush on Mark Harmon, the star of my current favorite TV show, NCIS.
Or the way I say, “You have the bridge Number One,” to Jay when I’m heading out the door to get my hair dyed. (I’m pretending I’m Captain Picard and he’s Riker.)
Or the urge to yell out “MAKE A HOLE!” and barge through with my buggy when people are clogging the aisles at Walmart. (I learned that phrase from NCIS from a scene on an aircraft carrier. Its literal meaning: Get your big butt out of my way, I’m coming through!)
So, I wandered over to a Naval website and realized that while I am past the age for eligibility (thank goodness!) my life has a certain nautical theme running through it.
Consider this excerpt from an actual glossary of Navy terms and their shocking similarities to motherhood: (My thoughts in bold.)
Loose from moorings and out of control. Applied to anything lost, out of hand or left lying about.
As in: Since motherhood, my mind has been adrift and loose from its moorings. Also refers to car keys or a child’s shoe.
Said of the anchor when just clear of the bottom. Anchors Aweigh — the official hymn of the United States Navy and Naval Reserve.
You’ll hear me yelling this before I step on the bathroom scale..
Space assigned to a ship for anchoring or mooring.
As in: Since giving berth to my three children, they have been anchored in our house. I suspect this has something to do with being adrift from my moorings.
Basic Underwater Demolition School
On a much smaller scale, this refers to swimming with the kids at the Y after enjoying a hearty serving of baked beans at the earlier BBQ.
One of the upright, crosswise partitions dividing a ship into compartments.
This, um, refers to that pesky PFD (Personal Floatation Device) located on my midships that has a tendency to, um, inflate, with age.
Shipboard mechanism for launching aircraft.
Be here the minute our kids turn 18 and you’ll see…
Cup of Joe
Josephus Daniels (18 May 1862–15 January 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Among his reforms of the Navy were inaugurating the practice of making 100 Sailors from the Fleet eligible for entrance into the Naval Academy, the introduction of women into the service, and the abolishment of the Officers’ wine mess. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships could only be coffee and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as “a cup of Joe.”
Nothing profound here. Just an interesting bit of trivia for fellow coffee addicts.
Direct Deposit System
This abbreviation, when written on the calendar, strikes fear in the heart. It means someone’s got a dental appoint.
Written report of an Officer’s performance of duty.
They offered one of these to me at the Y but I quickly declined when I was told it would involve an analysis of my bulkhead.
A tip of the hat here to my hubby the CPA. He likes abbreviations like that.
Cease what is being done; stop work.
Slight twist of common phrase used regularly by parents worldwide, “KNOCK IT OFF!”
Meal; a place or group of officers and crew who eat together as in “crew is at mess,” “meeting was held in CPO mess,” or “she was the guest of wardroom mess.” Mess comes from Latin mensa, or table
Description of my house 45 minutes after I’ve cleaned it.
Plan of the Day
Schedule of day’s routine and events ordered by Executive Officer; published daily aboard ship or on shore.
Fantasy held by every mother (the “Executive Officer”) Often cast aside because life happens.
Saluting the Quarterdeck
Some hold that the salute to the quarterdeck is derived from the very early seagoing custom of the respect paid to the pagan altar on board ship, and later to the crucifix and shrine. Others hold that the custom comes from the early days of the British Navy when all officers who were present on the quarterdeck returned the salute of an individual by uncovering (removing the hat). The original salute consisted of uncovering. The salute — touching the hat to the seat of authority, the quarterdeck (the place nearest the colors) — is as old a tradition.
Again, another bit of trivia I found interesting. But still, I wish my kids would do this with me.
Working above the highest deck; generally performing maintenance on the ship’s mast.
This happens regularly when I announce “It’s house cleaning day” and the kids mysteriously disappear. As in, Once again mom finds herself in the kitchen working aloft. Again, this is not a surprise for one who has lost her moorings.
I hope you’ve found this little guide helpful. Now, if you’ll excuse me….I have to get back to the bridge.