I wrote this post late Saturday afternoon:
I don’t want to be a helicopter mom. I don’t want to be someone who constantly battles anxiety and worry.
My baby boy, Joey, turned 17 last week. In a few short weeks, he will attend the prom with a lovely girl who he counts as a good friend.
Earlier in the week, he asked about taking a short road trip with his friend to hike in the woods. This park is around an hour from our house.
My first thought was NO. Then I considered my first thought a few minutes and then thought FUCK no.
I don’t want to be unreasonable. He has been driving for a year. He’s responsible. And that is very nearly true!
Randy and I decided to let him go.
Saturday morning at 8:10 am, Joey left to pick up his friend.
At 8:4o am, my phone rang. Joey was on the other end. He told me that he had been in an interstate accident.
The chopper blades whirred out of control.
I knew it was a mistake. We shouldn’t have let him go. In fact, we should put a tracking device on him and never allow him to leave the house again for as long as I’m alive.
The accident was in no way his fault. He was rear ended and no one was injured. My car sustained damage, but can still be driven.
I called the police. After he ticketed the other driver and ensured the proper exchange of information, he spoke to me on the phone. He assured me that Joey and his friend were fine. He assured me that the car was safe to drive. He assured me that Joey was not overly shaken and had handled the situation well.
I wanted Joey to come right home.
That grinding sound you heard Saturday morning was me, making a herculean effort to stop my chopper blades from spinning so hard that I changed the earth’s trajectory around the sun.
I let him go. I told him to be careful and to have fun. I told him to be an adult and if he or his friend suddenly felt ill or headachy to call immediately. I told him to pay attention to the feel of the car. I asked him to text me through out the day because I was freaking out.
I had a five minute long episode where I sobbed and laughed hysterically. Then I began taking my anti-anxiety medicine as prescribed. I usually use it as a security blanket. It’s there if I need it.
I needed calm.
I sent him a text an hour later to see how he was feeling and he didn’t respond immediately.
The helicopter control tower leaped into action. You’ll have to imagine the crackly radio noises going along with the dialogue because apparently, my helicopter control tower has antiquated equipment.
Momma bear attempted contact 97 seconds ago. I repeat, it has been 97 seconds with NO response. GO GO GO GO.
The blades churned. Ground control took their positions by running in circles, screaming, and waving their arms about.
He called before I worked up too much steam. He assured me they were fine and that the weather was beautiful and they were happy.
He’s still there right now. Randy and I are spending the day on the deck listening to music.
I had a bloody Mary and some bourbon for lunch.
I’m not a helicopter at the moment. But my pilot is on standby.
Edited on Sunday to add:
Holy shit, you guys, the back of my car is smashed as fuck. We can still drive it, which is good because we had a family birthday party to attend today. Sure, the car pulls to one side and the transmission seems haunted, but we can drive the car. Joey spent the night at a friend’s house last night even though I wanted nothing more for him to stay home so I could stare at him. I didn’t sleep much last night.
I guess tomorrow we’ll find out what happens with insurance claims and car repairs. What a pain in the ass.
I’m also having a hard time warding off the truly horrifying ‘what if’ thoughts. My helicopter blades were kept under control this weekend, but that didn’t do a goddamn thing to keep the anxiety at bay.
In the end, I just remember that no one died and everyone is safe at home right now.