Friday, September 25, 2015

Losing My Pilot's License

You know what they say. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so here goes.  Depending upon the day, I may or may not be what is commonly referred to as a helicopter mom. This probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I can hear my sisters snickering in the background right about now.  Pull it together girls. Listen, you're supposed to be on my side. Even if what I'm saying makes no sense. That's just the way the sister code works.

When she never stops worrying:
 In my defense, I am getting better at not intervening in my kids' lives when issues pop up, but it still goes against my nature. I was an Occupational Therapist by trade before I became a stay-at-home mom. In the simplest of terms, this means my day to day job was to help people break down problems into small, attainable goals. That's a hard thing to turn off when you move out of the work force and into raising a brood of kids. It's just a tough habit to break. As they get older, I'm getting better at stepping back and letting them figure out their own way to of doing things. I'm still taking care of them, but in different ways. That's why I'm a huge fan of the ever popular "Care Package From Home".  I still get to mother them, even though they are hundreds of miles away.

Here's the finished care packages I sent out yesterday- all boxed up and ready to go to Texas. When putting these babies together, I always follow the same formula. It's a sure fire way to cover all your bases and let them know how much you love and miss them. As with most things in my life, this magic formula is short and sweet. Here's what you need to put in each box.

1. Something Practical - This is the work horse part of the care package. Here's where you send them the things you know they'll need, but probably forgot to take with them. There's nothing glamorous here, but they'll definitely be glad you thought to put these items in the box.

2. Something Fun -This is why Wal-Mart is one of my best friends. They always seem to have what I need. Toss in anything that is funny/goofy/cute. I like to put in things unexpected or that reminds them of home - hence the Flarp for Ian. I'm pretty sure I don't have to explain that one to you - particularly if you are a boy mom.

3. Something Nutritious- There comes a point when they're going to need to eat something that doesn't come out of a vending machine. The kicker here is that it needs to be yummy and healthy. I found these super cool Minute Corn packs at the store. You get hot corn on the cob from the microwave in a couple minutes. They're shelf stable and have only 2 ingredients- corn and water. I'll let you know what the kids think of them, but my hopes are high.

4 & 5.  Candy and Money- The key to this part is to get the candy they loved to eat when they were small. If you're having trouble remembering exactly what that was, a good rule of thumb is to pick the candy they used to beg for in the grocery store check out line. For my kiddos, it was always anything and everything banned by their orthodontist. Last, but not least, tuck in some cash. My grandmother, Nanny, used to call this "walking around money". It's not enough to break the bank, just a few bucks to keep in their pockets in case they need something. It's a college kid's favorite kind of gift.

So that's all there is to it - easy peasy lemon squeezey. It definitely lets them know you're thinking of them even though they're out in the world on their own now. It's not quite as satisfying as taking care of them every day, but at least you aren't hovering. Which is too bad, because I looked really great in that flight suit.

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