We've all seen those helicopter parents, right? The ones that sometimes almost make us feel guilty because they're so attentive and organized and on the ball? Nothing seems to slip their notice as they stand guard to divert any pending disaster. Those of us who function more like a wildly spinning top than a helicopter comfort ourselves that being too on top of this mothering gig will ultimately stunt the growth of our children who need to learn to make wise decisions and experience life for themselves. Am I even a little bit right?
But what about those helicopter kids?
You know the ones. They're keen, intuitive, attentive, and overly helpful. I have more than three dozen of them (if you're new here, don't panic ... I didn't birth them all) and it's them I blame for what I'm about to tell you.
Because these kids clearly think I'm not equipped to handle life. They're determined that I'm not ready to fly solo and shouldn't ever be left alone. They're sensitive to the fact that I could suddenly be struck with intense and crippling separation anxiety so they work overtime to ensure that never happens. Also, like a weighted blanket, they see to it that I'm always covered with small bodies, grubby hands, dirty feet, and an abundance of hugs and kisses.
If I have a plate of food, they fight to be the one who can wash it for me. If I look like I'm overheating in the Thai sun, a small person suddenly appears to fan me with whatever object lies nearest to be certain I don't pass out. If I look tired, they get nervous. If I'm not grinning from ear to literal ear, they're sure it means I've decided I regret my life choices and I want to move to an island uninhabited by children. If I struggle with technology, they fix it for me which means the next time I'll struggle again because I've learned absolutely nothing.
These kids are crippling me. They're in pursuit of my happiness and the prime seat on my lap (or right next to me, depending on age). I can't get away from them so I'll never be able to stretch my wings and grow.
And when I step back and think about it, I wouldn't change a single drop of it for the world.
I may not be as young as I once was, and I may be getting lazy since they run to do everything for me, but somebody smack me a good one if you hear me complaining about it. I may be forgetting how to do dishes and wipe down tables and I may barely remember life without my name being sung in so many octaves from frenzied choristers running in all directions. But I never have the chance to forget what it is to be loved. To be cherished. To have people shout with joy when they see me coming.
Helicopter on, my sweet children. You're everything I wanted and a whole bunch of things I didn't know I wouldn't want to live without.