Close to kids – a mixed blessing.

MOXIE COSMOS SAYS . . .

We’ve heard about “helicopter parents” who hover over their college kids.  In SOPHIE REDESIGNED readers meet her helicopter son Robin.  Chatting with my four best high school friends during their visit here last week, I am more convinced than ever that being close to your children is a mixed blessing – but it doesn’t really matter if they are here or halfway around the world.

It’s not like the 1950s, when parents would phone to check on their grown children and baby grandchildren every weekend (welcome or not).  The helicopter parent (or child) has texting.  One survey reported that college freshmen girls talk to their mothers on the average of 17 times a day.  I just texted or left voicemail for my children, ages 45-50, two in town, one in Portales, NM, and it’s not even noon on a Saturday.

Do you suppose we were too deeply influenced by those old TV warnings before the late night news?

“It is now ten o‘clock.  Do you know where your children are?”

My mother certainly did.  If I wasn’t doing homework in the next room, she was at the front door flicking the switch of our porch light, glaring at my boyfriend’s car.

I am still haunted by a childhood memory of a neighbor woman walking up and down our street in the dark and eventually the few blocks towards downtown in Ironwood, Michigan, fearfully calling, “John-ny!  John-ny!”  And I remember a grade school friend who was called from after school play by a loud, “Junior!!!  Dinner!!!”  Then we’d all go home.

I say:  “Once a mother, always a mother.”  Period.  That’s what I wish they would teach in sex education classes (if there are any).  If I could not text or phone I’d worry.  Just now I’ve been texted back by Ann, remembered that Tom, Nicole, Max and Em are at a Juvenile Diabetes family retreat, and figure Greg and Maya are hiking out of range.  Anyway, they left a voicemail yesterday.  Greg said:

“It’s a beautiful day, not too windy.  We are sitting in a spot surrounded by green and looking a pond that has purple flowers on it.”  And Maya added:

“Granny, you know what?  We have water lilies in this pond.  Do you know what they are?  They are kind of purplish-reddish.  I love you.”

____________________

FOR SOME GOOD INSIGHT TO CONNECTED COLLEGE STUDENTS GO TO:  http://www.macalester.edu/whatshappening/mactoday/2008Spring/techedout.html

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