Letting Go of the Wheel
Watching children make their own decisions is hard but not for the reason they think.
When you are a mom to four children, you become accustomed to hearing certain words or phrases that will leave you no option but to threaten to murder the next person who says either of them.
The phrase I hate the most? “Mom, relax; I got this.” The second? “Chill out.”
There are just certain things you don’t say to people in charge of making sure bad things don’t happen to you. You know why? We start to care less about your safety because you’re kinda being a jerk.
Case in point.
Don’t tell your mom that you “got this” if you’re in the following predicaments:
1.) Your head is stuck between two staircase railings.
Here’s a question to ponder. Was it easy to cram your head through the railings going in? And are you being paid a large sum of money, like on a dare? If the answer is “no” to either question, I’m not sure you “got this” or anything else.
2. You got a speeding ticket and failed to show up in court because you were too exhausted. And because No one goes the speed limit on that road. Why is the speed limit 50 anyway?
I hope you don’t mind the color orange, and you better develop a liking for bologna. Relax. It tastes just like a rolled-out hot dog. You’ll be fine.
3. You stayed up to 3 a.m. the night before your college SAT to catch up with the Kardashians.
Your eyes are practically glued shut, and you just put your clothes on inside out. Good luck with getting that early acceptance letter. Hope everything is OK with the Kardashians.
4. You got your navel pierced by a guy who does piercings in his mom’s garage.
Gee, I wonder why Mom would think this wasn’t such a great idea? Now your belly button is the color of asparagus, and there’s some questionable oozy gunk that smells like rotten eggs. Too bad this wasn’t an episode of Gossip Girl. But, no worries. I’m sure you “got this.” I’ll just be over here “chilling out.”
5. You brought your wallet with all your leftover Christmas, birthday, tooth fairy money in it to the beach. You thought perhaps you’d find something to buy. At the beach, you got up to go play in the water with your little brother, and when you returned, your wallet was missing.
I told you it wasn’t a good idea. I’m sad that all your money is gone, and yes, I appreciate the hysterics. But in my head I just added a check mark on the scorecard titled “Mom Was Right Again.”
Listen, I hate watching my kids suffer through events I know he/she could have easily avoided if he/she HAD ONLY LISTENED TO ME.
It’s like when you ride in the front passenger seat when your teenager drives for the first time. It’s the worst 20 minutes of your life. Over time, you feel less and less like taking control of the wheel, but if you had your way, they would all still be sitting in the backseat strapped in car seats.
It’s hard for me to let go and trust my child to take care of himself/herself, but probably not for the reasons my kids think. When my kids start making decisions for themselves (and even suffer the consequences), it’s one less moment in their lives they need me.
Well, except when they need money. At what age do they start saying, “Relax, Mom; I got this. Here, I’ll pay for yours, too,” or “Chill out, Mom. Put your wallet away. I got this.”
I’m guessing we’re nowhere near that stage in life yet, huh? I mean, if it even exists.