I’m not opposed to letting them live in a bubble.

I’ll admit to being extremely over protective when it comes to my boys. I’m terrified of them getting hurt. When I watch them ride their rollerblades, I become consumed with thoughts like “Oh my GOD, they could fall, break their neck and become paralyzed!” So, I’ll shout out to them things like “Slow down!” “Not so fast!”
I usually get a response that goes a little something like this…
“You always ruin our fun! Why don’t you just go back inside and let us ENJOY OUR LIVES?”
And that’s exactly what I have to do. I have to go inside and not watch them play, or my urge to save them from losing an eye or their ability to walk will take over and I’ll “ruin their lives.”
Over the years, I’ve learned to control my overprotectiveness on the outside by not freaking the hell out when I DO watch them play. And? I don’t say no when they ask to go places like skateparks or BMX racing tracks. Even though, on the inside, I am throwing up, wondering how I’ll care for them when they’re in their wheelchairs. (And I’m not exaggerating) I realise that I can’t prohibit them from enjoying their childhood because of my fears. That said, I still believe it is my job to protect them from harm, to keep them safe, so there are times I will forbid them from doing things, even if every other kid in the ‘hood are doing them.
There have been many times where my husband will say things to me like “Think about what YOU did as a kid and you lived, RIGHT?!”
So true. I think of the things that I did as a child and yes, I survived, BUT… it IS a miracle that I still have legs that work.
When I was in Junior High, I was totally obsessed with tanning. I wanted the best tan the sun could offer, so I’d search endlessly for the perfect place to bake my skin. I decided that perfect place was THE ROOF OF OUR HOUSE. I’d grab a towel, my pink boom box, I’d climb on the side fence, hop up on the roof, climb to the very top and park my ass at the very top, facing my backyard.
I think about that now and it makes me sick to my stomach. I could have fallen off and DIED! And, oh my God, if I ever found MY kids on OUR roof? I’d call 911 to come rescue them because I sure as hell wouldn’t let them climb down once I saw them up there.
Climbing on the roof was mild compared to the things me and my siblings did when we were young. Things that could have gotten us killed, things like trying to put out a match in a motor home with A CAN OF LYSOL (Can you say ‘how long does it take for eyebrows to grow back in?’), driving my parents car when I was 14, when I had no clue HOW to drive. Things like jumping out of trees, running on the concrete around my grandmas pool to get enough speed to do flips into her pool without a diving board, playing “operation” with real knifes and getting (literally) cut open in the gut, riding bikes at 523532 miles per hour in the middle of the street with NO HELMET, jumping the train tracks trying to “beat the train”, etc….
So why am I so paranoid about my kids? Why can’t I ease up a bit? Why do I panic when I watch them jump their bike off of a ramp? Why do I secretly wish they could wear mouthpieces, knee/elbow pads and helmets at their basketball games? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually enforce my overprotectiveness in such an overbearing manner, I try to keep it inside so as not to raise a couple of wusses, but I wish that I could relax a bit and not worry so much about them becoming quadriplegic.
Is that actually possible? Are there mothers out there who watch their kid racing down the street on their roller blades at 50mph and actually enjoy it and cheer them on? Are their mothers who don’t think “Oh my God, those are permenant teeth, if he falls and knocks them out WHAT WILL I DO?” Do these mothers exist and if so, what in the hell is your secret? How do you do that? Please, enlighten me.

13 thoughts on “I’m not opposed to letting them live in a bubble.

  1. Kris

    Ummmm – no way. I cringe and hide my eyes every time. And to make it even worse, my son it a total clutz. He walks into walls, falls down stairs, trips over the air. I have to bite my lip every time he grabs his skateboard, rollerblades or bike. My hubs keeps saying boys will be boys. I keep saying thank God for insurance….

  2. Vickie

    Well, I’ll admit I was never that extreme when my kids went out biking or rollerblading.
    When they turned SIXTEEN…
    OMG the terror that ran through me everytime they got behind that wheel. The first night my son drove all by himself I made him swear he’d call me on his cell phone as soon as he got to wherever he was going. My husband stopped that right there. He said, “Vickie, he has obtained a driver’s license. He is legal to drive. If you start this shit now, you’re going to have a hell of a hard time stopping yourself every time he goes someplace.” He was right, of course, and he cold-turkeyed me right there. Amazingly, the next time he went out I wasn’t as irrational.
    It keeps getting better with time. But if skateboarding bothers you this much now, I’m a LEEEEEETLE concerned for you when they drive!
    PS on the tanning thing…I went on the roof WITH aluminum foil WITH the foil mirror WITH baby oil WITH BEER!!

  3. geeky

    i don’t think there are moms out there like that, but that’s what dads are for!
    like the time my mom was at work, and my dad let us go ride our bikes in the nieghborhood. my brother fell off his bike coming down this big hill and literally almost knocked his two front teeth out. he had to go to the dentist and get special braces to make sure they didn’t fall out. i thought my mom was going to kill my dad.

  4. Mamacita

    I did all those things when I was younger, too. And yes, I worried myself sick over my kids getting hurt doing them. I sheltered them too much when they were tiny, and they more than made up for lost time when they got to be older. But mostly, I worried about kidnappers and molesters. Maybe, parents worry the hardest about whatever Monster is getting the most press. Anyway, don’t worry, you’re just doing what all of us do. Or did. Let your children play with the same reckless abandon that we had. It will go away soon enough.

  5. etherian

    I think all parents are that way. I’ll bet even Tony is (but he’s a macho guy and is not allowed to admit that). My mother once told us, when we were older, that everytime we did something risky, in her eyes, a piece of her died as she kept her mouth zipped and allowed us “to live”. For the record, I’m 42, my brothers are 40 and 38, my mother still dies inside when something happens to us, or we’re about to embark upon a risk.

  6. melly

    My mother is really bad about that, too. Matt wanted to draw with a pencil last night and when I gave him one, she said, “Aren’t you afraid that he’ll poke his eye out?”
    That’s it! No pencils! They’re far too dangerous!

  7. Jenny

    your not the only one. i am EXTREMELY overprotective of my son. i refuse to let anyone except my mom and sister hold him. (but that is due to other reasons too) so dont feel so bad.

  8. Angel

    Can not help you there, I am just like you….I cringe at the thought of them getting older and more active and athletic. Reading your blog, I think I catch a glimpse of my future being the mother of two boys (3 & 5) so they are just hitting the dare devil age. Last night I caught them with the lid of the hamper “sledding” down our staircase!!

  9. robyn

    My heart is already stopping at the thought my wee one is about to take his first steps without holding onto something — nevermind running, bike riding, rollerblading, driving….. Aaaack. I can’t imagine the first time I actually let him out of my sight at a friend’s house, school, etc.

  10. Darleen

    oh crap, Y … and your kidlets are still kids…
    #3 daughter, Heather, is an adreniline junkie. Snow skiing I deal with because we’ve all done it since they were little…but she’s taken up snowboarding, she’s bungie jumped and last year went ski diving.
    It’s a wonder I wasn’t outfitted in one of those jackets with the extralong sleeves and buckles in the back.
    and OH…she bought herself a jazzy silver Mustang to drive … fast …
    [quietly babbles to self]

  11. Jodie

    I’m 32 – my mom still asks me to call “when I get there” if we are in the same town. I don’t anymore. But… *sigh* I, too, *try* to step back, push the psychotic nature of the “let’s just cut foam with safety scissors today, and *I’ll* be the one cutting” side. He’s only 5… it’s a tough thing to balance out: making sure you raise a confident man, and making sure he has the chance to actualy grow into that man. *sigh*

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