2013-08-22 / Lifestyles

Hovercraft queen

Lois A. Corcoran

I cringed at the letter I read in Annie’s Mailbox the other day. It read, “I am a 15-year-old boy, and my mother is very protective.”

But for the age difference, my son could have written that note. Over the years he, too, wished for a detachable mom.

Kelly made his debut in winter – flu season – so we hunkered down a while till spring arrived. In fact, six months passed before I showed him off to my former coworkers. “Well, well,” said my boss when I finally brought him in, “How’s the boy in the plastic bubble?”

As Kelly grew, so did my list of fears. In summer, I fretted that his bike would collide with a car. In winter, I worried about him sledding into a tree. Regardless of the season, not a day went by that my son didn’t hear “Be careful!” As if that could stave off disaster.

He could relate to a joke I saw of two little kids. One said to his friend, “My mom’s so overprotective, she won’t let me run with sharp cheddar.”

There’s a thin line between bonding and bondage, and I straddled it often. Clearly, letting go proved a challenge for this Helicopter Mom. In fact, I could be crowned Hovercraft Queen.

Somehow, Kelly grew up free of phobias, in spite of his neurotic mother. Unlike me, he embraces new experiences. But for yours truly, the saga continues. Sure, I smile and wave as he drives off to college, but I wring my hands the minute he’s out of sight. Especially when I hear an ambulance siren shortly thereafter.

I’m improving though. Now I only worry twice a day: once when he’s en route and the other when his classes end. And I breathe a sigh of relief when he arrives home early “before your scheduled worry time,” as he puts it.

He would enjoy Adam Chester’s book on the subject, “S’Mother: The Story of a Man, His Mom, and the Thousands of Altogether Insane Letters She’s Mailed Him”.

Though he’s grown now, Adam vividly recalls how his mother worried that he might catch cold. So she brought his sweater to his phys ed locker room. “The room became a blur as everyone [tried] to cover up,” he wrote.

Clearly, I’m not the only overprotective mom on the planet. Maybe we OM’s should form a support group.

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