Helicopter Mom. I haven’t been called that in a long time. I’m trying daily to give up that title bestowed on me by loving, caring friends and family members. I’m not embarrassed that I was a helicopter mom when the kids were younger. In some aspects, I still hover too closely.
But I do believe in giving the kids space to grow and find their own independence. What better way to jump right in to this non-helicoptering-mom status than by moving to Israel. To Israel- where children ride public transportation alone. I still shutter each time I see that- okay, maybe I’m not totally cured.
So yes, they take the elevator alone to go outside to play on their own while I stay upstairs thinking about them the whole time- again, not totally cured. But trying to get there.
Just yesterday, less than 24 hours ago- there were so many terrorist attacks- all over the country- unrelated to one another- except by the ideology of- Let’s go out to kill lots of Jews. They happened in Jerusalem, in Petach Tikvah, in Yaffo. Now there are dead, there are severely injured, and there are heroes.
And this is putting a damper on trying to become an ex-helicopter mom. Because I can’t help but want to be protective of my kids.
However- just yesterday, “The Day from Hell” as it is being called now, I let my daughter and her friend walk alone to the candy store. It is only around the corner and they were desperate to exert their independence. They brought their wallets with 20 shekel and went to buy the exciting candies- not the regular kind-rather- the huge, sugar-filled, cavity inducing, blue food coloring, sticky, gooey, candies. The kind that makes their eyes pop out of their heads. And how could I take that experience away from them?
I don’t want to take that experience away from them. I want them to be able to walk around the corner and not be scared. So if they’re not scared- that’s a good thing, right? Or wrong? I read on one of the news apps that one terrorist was killed and the other was on the loose. And in my head I am calculating: “Well, if he ran in this direction, how long would it take him to get here? And would the kids be home by then?”
I don’t think that is a normal way to think- so why in only 6 months have I started thinking like that? I’ll tell you why! Because since we moved here there have been over 300 freakin’ terrorist attacks with dozens murdered! They use knives, guns, cars- to kill. This is screwing up my new venture of becoming a non-helicopter parent. I am trying so hard though.
My son forgot something in school and he said, “I could just walk back there!” I’m like- “Hey- school is a 20 minute walk- you are NOT walking there alone!” I mean, come on, he’s eight years old! It’s ok to still hover for a situation like that, right?!
So, no, I am not ready to let them ride on the buses alone- give me a couple more years for that. But maybe it is ok for them to walk around the corner to the candy store and back. They did tell me on their way out that they have their Ipod with them- email in case of emergency. Maybe a phone should be on the horizon- in today’s day in age.
So here’s to growing up- and giving up- attempting to give up- helicopter mom status. I think in the long run it really is healthier. So then why am I crying? Why am I so emotional? Why can’t life be easy? Why does it have to be so scary? Why am I writing a blog putting all these raw feelings out there for you to read? It just feels so good to write- even if right now I am being incoherent. If I am, I’m sorry. Bear with me through whatever I am going through right now.
Please let today bring peace and quiet- I can’t take it. Because I need to get back to self-training myself not to hover. So that I can say to my friends and family members- I’m a successfully cured ex-helicopter mom. It’ll happen. In time. Hopefully sooner than later.