Vesta took stock of her holiday gifts. In her academic life, she had rarely celebrated much of anything. In an effort to fit in with the other spinsters at the rooming house, she’d feigned at least a passing interest in whatever the seasons brought. Her family had done a scripted exchange, drawing names and spending the required amount. It hardly amounted to an observance, or a gift even. But they were gone now. The black bow she’d received from Velma was incredibly thoughtful, perhaps the only gift she’d ever gotten that she loved. It suited her: conservative but stylish. At least, Vesta could make it so. She might have picked it for herself, she thought so well of it.
Her gift from Velma’s spirited friend, visiting over Thanksgiving and on into Christmas, took her completely by surprise. Not only did Vesta not have a gift to exchange with Scarlett, she hadn’t expected to receive one from her. It was not in Vesta’s style, and yet she loved it, strove to recognize herself in it. Or perhaps, more difficult still, strove to find that spirited angel within. Vesta studied the joyful angel. Vesta didn’t know Scarlett very well, but she was the high-spirited fun-making kind of woman that Vesta usually avoided. Looking at the silver sprite in her hand, she couldn’t at the moment understand why she’d avoided bubbly gals like Scarlett. That night she dreamed of dancing shiny angels beckoning and in the morning she wondered if Scarlett’s gift might not have been the key to something she needed to rethink. Something big.
I am queen of the helicopter parents. But there are enough of us that we are becoming a social problem. Here’s my story.
Thing 1 was coming, they couldn’t stop him, it was only 24 weeks and 3 days. Someone asked: should we try to save him? Well, yes. Yes! Ten days later, a team of doctors closed the door behind us to explain brain bleeds, sepsis, meningitis. Shall we pull the plug? Well, no. No!
Babydaddy laid hands on him every day, massaged him when he was ready. For the three months he was in intensive care, and the three weeks at an intermediate hospital, I would get up in the night and pump breast milk, thinking about my baby across town. Babydaddy delivered it every morning, earning the name “milkman.” It was funny.
We had every therapy going for as long as possible: early intervention, the intermediate unit, private therapies. Terms multiplied: sensory processing dysfunction, sensory integration problems, orally defensive, auditory sensitivities, comprehensive developmental delay, cognitive function impairment, retinopathy of prematurity. He did occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, play therapy; we consulted with a neurologist, school psychologist, wraparound service provider, developmental specialist. He worked with an occupational therapist for a year and a half to tolerate teeth and hair brushing.
Not surprisingly, parenting didn’t feel natural. I learned to read to my baby watching Phyllis, our physical therapist. Voices, commentary, labeling colors, counting… she was very good! Merging professional research skills with my genetic propensity for silliness (mom was class clown, dad’s distantly related to Lucille Ball), my mothering style came together. Eventually. But I still channel Phyllis on occasion.
Thing 2 was full term. They are complete opposites; she is a sensory seeker with a wild sense of adventure and an inventive sense of fashion. Keeping them both busy and happy is an exasperating and sweet challenge. I still believe that every day can be fun and educational while reinforcing kids' boundaries. I’m on a mission to save us helicopter parents from ourselves. No more bubble wrapped kids and guilty parents. Let’s teach them coping skills. Let’s get fun.
Most amazing post! Vesta seems quite an intuitive woman and hopefully Scarlett will be pleased! Thank you for taking the time to share my angel with others! It touches me deep. I’ll continue to spread the love!
with light and warmth,
Thank you. I dearly love your work. Good luck in the new year!
Just got caught up on the story! Love looking at the Etsy items also.
Thanks so much! Wish I could transfer the fun I have here to writing.mg my item description s!;/