Thursday, September 15, 2016

I am a Helicopter Mom. Proudly.

Last week when I took Jasmine to the DMV, the smart ass behind the counter motioned his head towards me and asked Jasmine, "Does she always hover like that?"

"Yes!" I said, "Yes I do! And we are in the right line, right? The one where you give my baby girl a driving permit so she can hop in a tin can and be chased around the OC by boys smoking and texting and speeding? Not to mention all the massive, wobbly trucks barreling down the high way changing lanes haphazardly like there's no one else on the planet! And, oh yeah, there's this little tiny issue with the thing called DRUNKS ON THE ROAD!"

Actually, I didn't really say any of that. I just gave him a warning scowl and then mumbled something about how this is my third daughter to get her permit and I think I know what I'm doing and then I quietly took my seat in the Nervous Parent Waiting Area.

I hold my breath. I hold my breath to see if she passes the test. Let me be clear, I am not an over-achiever mom. Some may say I'm even an under achiever, 5 unfinished semesters of junior college and absolutely nothing to show for it. It's the straight up truth. I signed up, 5 times. I paid, 5 times. I picked out classes and bought books, 5 times. And then I dropped out half way, sometimes three quarters of the way, 5 times. I do not make brownies, I do not go to PTA meetings and I do not volunteer at school.

But still...I hold my breath for her. I hold my breath to see if she's happy, if she feels good about the test. Each day, I hold my breath to see if she accomplishes her goals and if she has grace and light for herself when she doesn't. I hold my breath to hear if she feels strong and confident and brave. I hold my breath to hear if she shares laughter and feels like she belongs. And I hold my breath for all her itty-bitty parts that can seem so big. I hold my breath to see if she feels good about her outfit, her hair, her weight. I hold my breath and imagine I'm in the halls, at the lunch tables, sitting in class trying to retain Algebra 2. I hold my breath to hear if the mean girls were maybe just a little bit... after all my praying and begging...nicer today. And I daydream about hovering in and watching over. And I pray the Holy Spirit goes with her where I cannot.  

And when I pick her up, I listen and wait. I wait to hear the things that give me permission to exhale...I'm pretty sure I got most of the answers right on the quiz...I'm having a great hair day, don't ya think mom...It was so funny at lunch when...

And so it goes, today I will breathe.

I can hear her now, strumming her guitar, she tells me she’s trying to learn a new song. Her voice is gentle and powerful all at once. Innocent and wise…as she is becoming.

And I hover, I certainly do…