Upping my helicopter parent game

So it started with a phone call. The Long-Suffering Husband got an email from the school, asking why our Sassy Saint hadn’t shown up to school. Since I had driven her to school that morning, I also wanted to know why he got an email from the school.

Of course, my mind went to the worst possibility. That’s just how I am: constantly bracing myself for the blow that never comes.

“I dropped her off at school,” I fretted. “I watched her go in.”

My father doesn’t call me a helicopter parent for nothing. I am convinced the children will be hurt or abducted if I don’t watch them like a hawk. I’m not sure what magical powers I possess so that the simple act of keeping an eye on them prevents them from coming to harm, but I am positive I do possess them.

“I’m sure everything is fine,” the LSH soothed. “It’s probably just a mix-up.”

“I’m going to call the school and find out what’s going on,” I said. “You don’t think she left … ?”

“Sass? No. I’m sure everything is fine,” he said. “Call me when you hear from the school.”

I called the attendance office, but got the answering machine. I left a message, but couldn’t help but think this sounded like the script from some preachy late-80s afterschool special. The kids in those specials always ended up on the back of a milk carton. Does anyone even drink milk out of a carton anymore?

Needless to say, I was on pins and needles, trying to remember if I actually witnessed Sass enter the building or just turn the corner – and whether there were any white vans in the area – for all of the 15 minutes it took for the school to call me back.

Of course Sass is fine. I wouldn’t be writing this if she weren’t – apparently, a substitute called roll and didn’t see her. But, you know, if something did happen, the whole email system is nifty.

I can be a touch dramatic. Let me tell you where that comes from: my mother.

She still over-parents me, and I am closer to 40 than I am to 30. (Sass has something to look forward to) Recently, I took the kids over for a movie and game night, and stayed later than I intended. Grampy Grumpy decided to kick us out – tactfully, for him – but Grandmama was worried about the snow.

Grampy told us it was snowing so we would go home. It wasn’t snowing.

“Call me when you get home,” she told me.

“You’ll be asleep,” I said. “It’s late. Go to bed. I’ll be fine.” I literally have driven from her home to mine hundreds of times in the past 10 years.

She fretted, but acquiesced. Or so I thought.

I arrived home, and the LSH announced, “your mother just called to see if you were home.”

“Do I need to call her back?” She shouldn’t be up late; she needs her rest.

“No, she called right after I you pulled in. I told her you were fine.”

My mother has the drive between our houses timed down to the second. That’s some next level parenting.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at swallace@pafocus.com)