I try very, very hard not to be a “helicopter Mom.” I have not tracked my kids’ college classes. I haven’t kept up with their assignments, or test dates, or projects. I don’t check in to see if they have good healthy food in their cabinets. I don’t make doctor’s appointments and I haven’t thought about their prescription refills for a few years now.
But there are certain moments in the life of a Mother which absolutely require some involvement. A kid is sent to the emergency room for abdominal pain, and calls to say that it is indeed appendicitis. The Mom races down the highway to be there by his side.
A child is literally sent packing by the person who is supposed to have been her life partner, and is sobbing out her grief. The Mom has to be there, arms open, bedroom readied, soup on the stove.
There are simply certain events that cannot be left in the hands of the children. There are times when any self respecting Mamma Bear simply MUST take a day off, gas up the car and head out to manage the crisis.
Now, I am a very imaginative neurotic Mamma Bear. I have envisioned nearly every possible disaster in heart wrenching detail. I have prepared myself to speed to the rescue in case of car crashes, sudden illness, heartbreak, job loss, homelessness, or alien invasions. I am always packed and ready to go.
So what do I do about this week?
My baby boy has a court date this week. In (gulp) New York City. Because he was arrested as part of a huge political protest on the Brooklyn Bridge. He took a stand, he stood his ground, he got himself arrested along with both of his siblings. When it happened, we were scared, proud, confused, amazed, excited, terrified, and filled with a burning need to rush to his side. We didn’t, and he and his brother and sister handled it perfectly.
Now he has to go back down to the big city, to face a judge, to answer to the charges of disorderly conduct (or whatever it is that they put in the charge; all three have different charges, although all three were standing together at the moment of arrest.) He will stand before a judge and answer the charges. His brother is bringing him down, and the Occupy Wall Street legal defense team will be there to represent him.
But I want to go, too!!! I want to stand beside him, hold his hand, make sure that no one is mean to him. I want to tell him how proud I am of him, how strongly I believe in what he is doing. I want to look those cops in the eye when they charge my boy with a crime.
But I won’t. I will let the kids handle this. I will trust them. I will stay at my desk at school and let them do what they need to do.
And then I will close my eyes and pray that as they leave the courthouse and once again join the marchers, they will manage to avoid a repeat performance.
I don’t know if I can force myself to skip more than one court date………..