Okay….I’m fine. Really.
The house is quiet. The kitchen is clean. I’m reading a book on how not to be a helicopter parent. It is a preventative measure… like sunscreen and dental floss. The author of the book writes that parents of college age children should strive to become “consultants” to their children. We should be available to help them help themselves and not try to solve their problems for them.
I can do that.
Yesterday I watched as couples filed out of the field house where we’d just said the final goodbye to our freshmen and were advised by the college dean of students to “back off” and let our kids “figure it out” for themselves. Apparently those of us in the Baby Boomer generation are having. a. little. trouble. letting. go. As we exited, cute, perky young women were handing out packages of tissues to parents. Interestingly, more of the dads were in need of these than moms. It was a dark and maudlin affair, let me tell you. Fathers snuffling…mothers walking next to them tight lipped and stoic. Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” was playing loudly with strobe lights and the bass turned way up.
“If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it..If you liked it then you shouda put a ring on it…”
Okay, so maybe the dads were crying about other things…
I think that I will choose not to hover. I’ve watched birds do that, and it looks like a lot of work. Even though they are quite capable, that treading air has to make their wings really tired. Birds, and moms, should use their wings for other things.
The temptation, of course, is to use our wings to shelter the ones we love..to protect them from the big world.
Which works great for a time, but then starts to feel more like smothering.
Or we flap them like mad, driving away the neighborhood dog who is creeping too closely..
Which works about half the time. Not good odds.
So instead of pretending to be a giant hovercraft I will choose
to use my wings to fly
up, up, up…..
And watch, from my perch, to see how things turn out.
I’m optimistic tonight.
She’s been doing wing strengthening exercises her whole life.
So have I.