Walking the Son

Okay, so the whole “walking the son” thing.

I hate to admit this, especially since ya’ll will probably form an unjust opinion of me after hearing it, but … Hi, I’m a helicopter parent.

Yes, I’m one of those annoying mothers who hover too close to her children. I always have. I used to sit at the table and read while they did their homework so I would be readily available whenever they had a question. I checked their homework over to make sure it was right. I stressed over their bad grades and rejoiced when they did well.

I’ve since learned to BACK OFF of that hovering thing. The boys are now in middle/high school, they don’t want, or need, mommy breathing down their necks.

But I still make sure the lid on their Gatorade has been loosened so they won’t be embarrassed in front of their chums at school when they have to struggle to get it off.

I make double sure that their gym shorts are below their knees because God forbid, they fall at, or just above the knee (those are short-shorts, don’t you know) so their chums won’t make fun of them. (Hey, kids are tough enough on each other – if I can help cross off some of those teasing triggers, by golly, I’m going to do it).

Though I don’t hover anymore, I certainly pay attention to them. I’m pretty in tune with their every mood, their shift in body language and their facial expressions. True, I don’t know what they’re thinking, but I can take a pretty good stab at it.

I watch them because I love them. I watch them because I don’t want them to get hurt. I watch them because I’m their mother and that’s my job.

For instance, I can tell if my boys are tired. I can tell when they’re frustrated. I can tell when they need a hug. And more often than not, I’ve acted as their buffer to this cruel, nasty world.

Yes I know this not always a good thing. And I’ve been working, very hard, to let go of them in the past several years. You can ask my mom, I’ve come a long way, I truly have.

But I still watch. And I’m still sensitive to their needs.

Let me jump the tracks a bit and go off topic.

My boys are pretty sedentary kids. They are hardcore gamers (so my boys tell me), and they are computer geeks. They sit, they sit a lot.

They aren’t interested in sports. In fact, they LOATHE sports of any kind – even sports’ video games. They won’t touch them. They don’t like to watch them. They think that jocks are dumb.

What am I trying to say? They’re not active. Period.

When we prepared to go on our Colorado Rockies vacation last summer, I made sure the boys walked on the treadmill. Why? Because I KNEW that if they didn’t build up a little endurance, our hiking expeditions would be limited to exiting our car and making it to the trail sign. Period.

I made them walk for their own good. Because I wanted to ward off a problem. Because I wanted them to enjoy themselves without having to gasp for air. Because if we’re going to drive 1300 miles out of our way, we’re GOING to enjoy those mountains.

And it worked. We had one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. And though the boys didn’t come right out and say, “Thanks for making me get in shape, mom,” they appreciated my foreknowledge.

Now, let’s get back to present day. The first semester ends this coming Thursday. This means, that second semester begins next Tuesday.

And that means … P.E. for GD.

P.E. for GD last year was … scary. The first week, he stumbled to my car after school (he had it last period of the day) because he was weak and shaking. His whole body was soaked in cold sweat and his face … good Lord he was so pale I really thought the boy was going to pass out on me.

When we got home, he collapsed onto the couch and wouldn’t move for a good thirty minutes until he felt like himself again.

In short, it was torture on the poor boy. It was so hard on him because he hadn’t been active. And the coach started the kids out running the mile right off the bat. GD simply wasn’t used to so much activity.

So this year, I’ve vowed he wasn’t going to go through that again. And that means, I’m walking my son.

He has grumbled quite a bit about my making him walk on the treadmill (it’s not THAT bad really, he can watch TV after all), but he’s also grudgingly admitted that he probably needs to do this so he doesn’t feel like death when P.E. starts.

So … he’s been walking.

And I’ve been watching out for him.

Because that’s my job.

(And I wish he would do something with that hair. *sigh*)