I'm a "Helicopter Mom".
I try not to be. In fact, i tell myself all the time that i'm not a helicopter mom. I tell myself that
...but i leave out the part that she should only do this when i'm there to 'protect' her.
Because, well, you know, this would be like admitting that i obviously have issues.
Which i do, but i don't need her to know that just yet....she'll figure it out on her own much later. I don't need her to know that i have issues till she's much older. Like in her 40s.
Back to the "helicopter" thing...
For some reason, i have this fear that i won't be there to 'protect' my daughter when she'll need it the most. I won't be able to put on my "Super-Mommy-Cape-with Matching Kick-Butt Boots" and save her from some danger that she doesn't see. Dangers like, cookies too big that she may choke on, or a loose rail on the edge of a cliff that she may fall off of.
My amazing, insane imagination is only second to my stunning, mental issues, folks...
Since Emma came home with us, these
Where does this fear of mine come from? Is danger really always just around the corner, lurking? Have i watched one too many horror movies? Do i have a twisted imagination? If i don't stop thinking this way, i am worried that it will eventually trickle down to Emma, which is the very last thing i want. I remember always being fearful as a little child; scared of the dark, scared of bugs, scared of people i don't know. As an adult, i'm not so much scared of any of those things, except, of course, for the stupid bugs.
A few days ago, i read something that made my blood go cold.
A little boy, eight years old, in Brooklyn, NY, had finally convinced his parents to let him meet them half way home, walking from his summer day camp. Little Leiby Kletzky, has practiced this route before with his mom so he seems to be a little familiar with his route. But on this day, the day his parents agree to let him meet them half way home, he never meets them as he gets lost. Little Leiby asks a gentleman on the street for help....the little boy is never seen alive again. The little boy is suffocated, mutilated (butchered into pieces) by this man he asks for help from.
I know, i know....how often does this happen? And what are the chances of this happening? I don't know the answers to either of those questions, but i think that this is the stuff that makes me fear the most. This stuff DOES happen, though...and that terrifies me.
Fear shouldn't rule a life. Fear of the unknown should never stop me from encouraging Emma to be in our front yard to pick flowers, or to play in the back yard in her bathing suit with the sprinkler while i do dishes. But i don't encourage her to do either one of these things alone, even though i would be able to check on her and even see her from our home. If she goes outside, i go with her. If Emma wants to go to our Butterfly Garden to pick flowers, i go with her. Emma is four (she'll be five in February) and is quite capable of doing both of these things by herself. But i don't let her...
I remember my summers when i was growing up, how i would wake up early, eat breakfast, and grab my bike and not come home till lunch. And then i would be off again, on my bike, till dinner. After dinner, i would be out again till the street lights came on. I don't remember my Mom shouting out warnings, other than "Watch out for cars!" and "Make sure you are going where you tell me you're going!". I was with my friends, and thus, a lot less un-fearful because i was on an adventure. Why is it i can't imagine me letting Emma take off like that, on her bike on an adventure without a GPS tracking device attached to her? That's a part of growing up that i cherish the most, riding my bike with my friends to the library (which wasn't close, btw), or riding my bike to the pool to be with my friends. Granted, i was older than four, more closer to little Leiby's age, but i still can't see me letting Emma ride off like i use to do.
It seems that i have two choices as Emma grows: teach her the best i can to be smart and fearless (okay, a little fear is good....) or i can keep her locked in the house, with no chance of adventures. The first choice IS the best choice, but boy, do i have a lot of work to do on me.
The second choice?
Would squash the free spirit that this child is and make her fearful (not to mention make our home a battleground for years to come) of the world. And i don't want that.
So, i have work to do on me....
I wonder if Valium comes in a multi-pack?
By the way, please, please pray for little Leiby Kletzky's family, especially his parents. The horror of their son's death is unimaginable. Please pray for comfort for their tears, sadness, anger and that God holds them all in His arms. Thank you for doing that...