Friday, December 2, 2011


Deanna Verbouwens
Drowning, Abductions, Choking, Oh MY! I keep myself awake at night thinking about all these terrible things that could happen to my children. These are fears that send me running for a bag of Lays along with getting run-over, home-invasions, and fire (I get some sense of security when my FDNY hubby is home, I know he can handle at least one thing besides playing solitaire on the PC). I realize that the chances of these things happening are rare, well maybe not too rare but the odds are probably NOT against me. Illogical perhaps, scary as Jason sure and definitely a little bit crazy. Absof**kinglutley. And here’s how crazy--I have a ritual before bed each night, I set-up booby traps by every door and window, then I check on the kids to make sure they’re breathing, next I take the cell phone into my bedroom and turn off the lights to make sure I can dial 911 in the dark, and last but not least I run several different escape plans through my head before I close my eyes. I know, I know, crazy as drunk doing the Macarena.

You’d think that I would have had homing devices implanted in my kid’s asses or at least wrap them in bubble wrap before they left the house. Hey, now that I think about it - not bad ideas. The homing devices would be magical when they are teenagers because I’d know where they were at all times. I can see it now: I’d have a map in the my closet covered with little red push pins as I tracked their every move and maybe I could rig it so an alarm would sound when they hit the local 7-11 to try and buy beer with a fake ID of some random 52 year old man. Now that would give me peace of mind.

Ahhh a mom can dream, but since that’s not happening, how do I find the balance? I need to make sure my kids are protected from the ills of the world and give them enough freedom so they’re not neurotic messes and afraid of their own shadow by age 15. Do I prohibit them from doing anything that is remotely dangerous or send them out there to break every bone in their body? How do I successfully implement the “Don’t talk to strangers” spiel when I reprimand them when they don’t respond to a stranger in Target who have just asked them their age. Now that one is a 100% walking contradiction. Note to self, stress to the kids it’s only okay to talk to strangers when their with Mom and Dad.

So does anyone have any idea where the happy medium exists between becoming an over-protective neurotic Mom or the cool laid back chick that has it all under control? Maybe the answer is to take a little crazy from one and a little chill pill from the other. Like, I let them walk to their friend’s house when they are 15 but they have to call me when they arrive. Perhaps the perfect combination of instilling the right amount of common sense in my kids so they know to run when they see a white van, ’cause it’s always a white van right? Or a guy walking a dog, or a ball on the train tracks or a too big bite of chicken, or a… Oh shit, time for the chill pill.

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