Have you ever seen that movie “Terms of Endearment?” It’s on my top 5 list. I laugh (you can’t actually see me, but I am laughing) because you know that scene where young mama Aurora checks on baby Emma with a mirror to see if she is breathing? That was me. Okay, that is me. Still. Well, only sometimes.
I know. I’m nuts. I have gotten better over the last couple of years, but I do periodically check on The Kid to make sure her blankets are going up and down with her breathing. When she was a baby, sometimes I would poke at her while she lay sleeping in her crib. You know, stir her. If she woke up, it was okay. Because I knew she was alive. And I would breathe a huge sigh of relief and go to sleep. You know, for at least 20 minutes.
I was a young child in the 70’s. A time when our parents didn’t worry about child snatchers or concussions from falling on a bike without a helmet. Damn, if I cut my face open, my mother’s response would be, “get up, brush it off and go outside to play.”
Once when The Kid was about 4, she fell because she was running on cement in flip flops. I knew she was going down. I got that weird prickly feeling in my shins. You know what I’m talking about? Well, I swooped her up and ran her to the first aid station in complete hysterics. I had one finger on my phone to dial 911. What’s the matter? She scraped her knee. And there was blood. What did you expect?
I was neurotic (you know, in case you haven’t figured that out yet). “Don’t run too fast, don’t walk backwards, don’t skip, don’t climb on that, don’t jump on the bed, don’t look at the sun too long…” I could smack myself just listening to that me. I was secretly happy when she didn’t quite get the concept of riding a bike the first time DH tried to teach her.
I’m not totally afraid of too much. Most of the time anyway. Like you won’t catch me dead on a pair of skis because I like my appendages where they are. But I have no problem driving to places I’ve never been, or doing something I’ve never done (except skiing, sky diving and heroin), tasting food that is off the wall and going on roller coasters with the double loop-de-loop.
So, why am I such a nut job? Overprotective and overbearing at times? Is it because I only have one child? People always told me to have another. That my neurotic behavior would lesson. But that’s hard for me to believe.
Now, she’s getting ready to learn how to drive. I thought I was worried before. What the hell? I guess I am the quintessential Helicopter Parent. But I don’t want to be one of those. I make fun of those people. There’s no way I am. So I looked it up:
A parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.
Oops. Well, I’m the first part anyway. Because taking an excessive interest in the life of your child? Well, that’s just plain, old, dang nuts. Pffft. And that car thing? Does anyone know how to pull out some wires so it doesn’t start? Inbox me with instructions. Thankyouverymuch.