Vesta took one last look at the skyline and jumped in a cab to the train station, kissing Jean on both cheeks, smiling and thanking and waving.
The whirlwind visit had been exhilarating sophisticated urban and draining. She was glad to be going back to her rural rooming house, reading, quiet tea and walks and, well, being the local sophisticate. But it was saving to know she had city options.
Vesta opened her May Sarton paperback and read for a while. When she looked up again, she was well into the country and worked hard to reconcile her feelings of anticipation and regret.
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.
The upper photograph reminds me of strips of RAM. It’s odd how a buildings side by side in perspective can conjure up such a comparison, but that’s what I see. That, and the potential for a beautiful wall hanging. The railroad tracks make me think of ribbons winding through the landscape. Both are interesting shots.
Oh, yes, I see it! Thanks so much for reading and commenting — I drop in on your site frequently, too!
Thank you so much for using my work with your fun storyline. appreciate it 🙂
Have a lovely weekend, regards, T. 🙂
Thanks for your kind comments. I do love your work, too! best,