To the Class of 2018, Some Friendly, Unsolicited Advice
Flight of the Helicopter Mom
Yeah, so I’m that mom. Making stronger, more independent women everywhere roll their eyes over my helicopter antics.
But I’ve not always been a helicopter mom (Please do not fact check this with my family). I just really like my kids and have an affinity for wanting them around for a while.
But recently, I’ve been doing strange things like laying down in the middle of the living room floor next to my High School senior and asking, “Are you happy? What makes you happy? Life is good? Can I do anything?” And irrationally worrying that he or my daughter will fall on the slippery porch and break their coccyx if I don’t get the ice melt RIGHT NOW.
My husband says it is because my son is leaving me for college soon (read: leaving his mother forever). I know graduation is in May, but it is Right Around the Corner. Like tomorrow.
One minute I’m frantic, wondering if I taught him all he needs to know and planning long drives for quality chats and the next minute, I’m thoughtful and prayerful and resting in the peaceful spirit of our Savior's guidance. That peaceful mom wrote this post: Losing my Mamma Marbles - check that out later! The frantic mom wrote this one.
So, sometimes I’m I’m weepy mom, calling on my Mom Mafia to comfort me in group chats. And I’m documenting my irrational behavior, well, because I’m a writer, but secondly, because I’m hoping I can reach a few other graduating seniors and encourage them with the unsolicited advice I've given my own son.
So, to the class of 2018, PLEASE take my unsolicited advice:
Hug your mother. A lot: Here’s how: Place arms around mom and apply consistent pressure. Five times if necessary. And do not be the first to break away - she bestows a blessing on you with each hug. And when she comes back immediately for another one, hug her again. And again. A quick note: pay special attention to the ‘pat’. If it appears mamma may be close to tears, don’t pat her back or you will bring on the flood. If she is moody, don’t pat or it will feel patronizing and a lecture is sure to follow. Your best bet: Just hug.
Listen to your mom’s stories: When she starts telling you and the strangers in line at the supermarket about the night you were conceived or born or when you made your first goal or touchdown, don’t roll your eyes and give her a hard time. Laugh along. Give her a loving nudge or a kiss on the head. Chime in with your own version as a show of support. You are entering mature adulthood and mature adults lift each other up, not tear each other down. Might as well start with your mamma. Ephesians 4:29: Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (MSG)
Take Pictures with your Mamma! When she wants to take a picture in front of every sign of all the colleges you visit, you will let her. And when she wants to take a picture of you and your siblings in your prom dress or tux, please let her. Let her take a million pictures. Just as she wanted to capture every first moment in your childhood, she wants to capture every last moment in these remaining few months. (OK, that one got me in the feels so you’ll have to excuse me while I go get a hug).
Clean your room! But don’t throw anything away! If you do not start to clean your room and straighten your closets and drawers, I dare say, you will find your mamma in there doing it for you. Cleaning your room makes her feel like you still need her. After all, she thinks there are still lessons to be learned in hanging clothes by color, function, and fabric. So, when you walk in on her sitting on your bed, holding one of your sweatshirts, smelling the foul odor it emits, it’s fine. You will not make a big deal about this. She is probably comparing its softness to your baby blanket and reminiscing on every memory in between. (You may want to reread Hug Your Mother).
Pay Attention to Your Siblings – As you head off to college, pay attention to your siblings. To the older ones who have gone before you, are losing a kid brother or sister. To the youngers, they are losing a mentor and friend. Yes, you will not be there to aggravate them, but you will also leave a void. A blessed void for a few weeks, but a void, nonetheless. Find opportunities to bless your siblings before you leave. Take them to a movie. Bring home ice cream bars. Play a board game. Go for a hike. But do something. As you mature into adulthood, you will realize just how much of a mentor role you play to younger brothers and sisters. What legacy will you leave to them?
I feel a few more of these coming on so I hope you join me in the coming months as I rollercoaster through these feelings.
Okay, leaving to go get one more hug. Adulting is hard. Be sure and receive his blessings as you venture into God's great world.
Kass Fogle is a Contemporary Christian Author, Speaker and Blogger who lives with her husband and two teenaged children in South-Central Illinois. She is working on her first novel, Ruth's Garden and when she is not working the day job you can find her at the local coffee house writing, at home baking, hanging out with family or causing trouble with her tight group of girlfriends. Kass is also a raging Football Mom.
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