Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Parenting: A Time to Hover and a Time To Pray

The term helicopter parent wasn't widely used until around the time our last child was in college.  Even if I had been aware of the label, I don’t think I would have assigned it to myself. No, I think of myself more as a concerned parent –one with long-distance drone strike capabilities.

Just because the kids grow up, get degrees, or hold jobs doesn't mean they don’t need a bit of maternal wisdom now and then. Like the time President Bush came to town to speak at a local university.

Our son was on the Secret Service advance detail responsible for sweeping the area and securing the route.

I knew he’d been highly trained and knew what to look for, but I, on other hand, lived here. Not wanting any mishap on my son’s watch, I took it upon myself to drive to Furman, making note of the dangers along the route, as well as the layout of the campus itself.

I called my son with my findings. “It’s a long way from the airport to the campus. I don’t see how you can keep it safe.”

“We know what to do, Mom.”

He tried to reassure me, but then visions of rubber-suited scuba terrorists emerging from the shallow depths of the lake I discovered on campus prompted another warning. “Did you know there’s a lake not far from the field where he will be speaking?”

“Really,” he said. “We’ll make sure we look into it.”

Satisfied that I had done what I could to help my secret agent son keep the President safe, and because I was not a helicopter parent, I refrained from any more patrols. (Although it wasn't until Air Force One pulled up its wheels and headed on to the next town that I was able to breathe easily.)

No, a mother’s work is never done.

Recently our daughter sat for her personal trainer certification exam.  She does have a business degree and is quite capable of studying, but I thought I’d help drill her the last few days before the test.

“Gastrocnemius,” I said. “Sounds like it comes from Latin. Must have something to do with the stomach.”

“It’s your calf, Mom.”

“Okay, I see you don’t need my tips for memorizing muscles, but I do know how to read between the lines for what they’ll test on. Make sure you know all about the Overhead Squat.”

On the day of the exam, I felt prompted to go with her. Helicoptering? Or Lord? I dropped her at the door and decided to wait in the parking lot for a few minutes. About ten minutes later, she emerged in tears. Of all the different exams happening at the same time(cosmetology, dental, etc.) her computer program was the only one that wasn’t working. Every time she logged on, it crashed.

The proctor told her if the IT tech couldn’t fix it, she would have to reschedule—possibly months out. And besides, proctor lady advised, she shouldn’t take it now that she was so upset.

Although I wanted to march right in there and deploy my drone strike, I stayed in the car and did battle in prayer.  

I was so frustrated with the Lord because we already had prayed so much. I was ticked with the enemy in case he was trying to thwart her success, and I was determined to keep at it until the Lord gave me some peace. A half hour passed and she hadn’t come back out, so I assumed they had gotten the program to work.

Still anxious, I needed a specific word, but any word from my Bible was far better than the ones that were in my mind. I began a desperate random reading from a psalm. 

And there it was.

That certain descriptor I’ve used much in the past for prayer for my daughter. It is a word only God knows I use in reference to her. Smack dab in the middle of a psalm about the God of the sanctuary was the assurance of prosperity, and I knew all was well.

Convinced she would pass, I picked up my Writers Digest and enjoyed the wait.

She got in the car and flashed her results: now a certified personal trainer. She said the proctor was so happy when her test results came up on the screen that she hugged her.

After all the exuberant congratulations, I asked,” Were there many questions on the Overhead Squat?”

“Yes, lots! Thank God you went over them with me.”

Ah, . . . A time for prayer.

And a time to hover.  

Blessings of joy and assurance of His care over your children.


1 comment:

  1. Marcia:

    Nice piece of writing. We never stop praying for our children; no matter their ages.

    It's always advisable to keep your helicopter engines well-maintained, should you ever need to swoop in for a quick rescue/support mission.

    Another prayer answered. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.



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