Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration Day

Our daughter just returned from the inauguration. While she described it as an amazing experience, I can tell you as the mom it was a bit nerve wracking. She arrived in Washington on Saturday, along with 16,999 other students. Her plane landed at 2 pm. Imagine my surprise when she called me at 6 pm and said she was still at the airport. At this point I decided to take action and started trying to communicate with the leadership of the group. At 8:30 I was fit to be tied. When I finally got a real live person on the line they acted shocked that she was still at the airport, but my daughter assured me that almost everybody was still at the airport and these people didn't have a clue.

Long story short, she finally checked into her hotel at 1:15 AM.

I say all of this to make the point that I do not consider myself to be a helicopter parent and I totally recognize that in just a couple of years our little girl will be off to college living somewhat independently of her parents. However, that did not stop me from thinking about the fact that if the arrival in DC was this disorganized, what will Inauguration Day be like when she is in the midst of more than a million people? Can I tell you my mind started running wild???????

This experience re-emphasized for me the importance of preparing our kids for these types of unexpected situations. If we had consistently solved problems for her she would not have been prepared.

So for all the times we have let her make mistakes and learn from those mistakes - even though it was hard not to step in and make things okay -it was worth it. Especially when we see her handle a situation like the inauguration trip where instead of freaking out, she kept her head about her and made some really good decisions.

1 comment:

Tamar Chansky said...

Hello-- I found your blog on a search for "helicopter parent" and I would say you have done a superb job not being one! Your concluding paragraph says it all- how fortunate for your daughter that her parents have left her flounder a bit (within reason) so that she has learned not to fall apart when plans change. This is the heart of resilience, and something you can really only learn in practice. May your story be an inspiration to other parents to let their children get in there and learn!
All best,
Tamar Chansky