The card was postmarked New York, New York; tearing the envelope revealed Scarlett’s signature color first, then a gorgeous energetic card. Then out slipped a check. Velma sighed. Her city friend did not give up; she might as well start planning her trip back to the city and Scarlett’s first party in ages. She sat down in the rooming house living room and looked out the window, willing away tiredness she still felt from her last city venture. The other spinsters trickled in for afternoon tea and Velma repaired to her room and a nap.
Waking to the dull glow of a late winter afternoon, Velma moved Scarlett’s thank you gift, wrapped and ready to post, from the bureau to her suitcase and smiled. The beads were beautiful and she knew Scarlett would love the range of pink-to-scarlet colors. It would be fun to watch her open it; maybe another trip to the city would be manageable. Maybe it would even be fun. If she traveled off-peak she might even afford a new dress. She lilted off to dinner where she’d tell the girls about her upcoming adventure.
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.
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, handmade bead
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, trip to the city
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How beautiful! Thanks so much for featuring my beads here!
Glad you like it. Your work is gorgeous!