21st Century Hover-Mother

Me and the kids made a quick trip to Oklahoma last weekend, and one of the highlights was a HUGE bonfire out at my mom’s place.  The burn pile was the size of a house, and it was pretty impressive for anyone, but especially to my kids.  (My little concrete-dwellers.)

If I said it once that night I said it a million times:  “Be careful!” or some variation thereof.  “Don’t get so close to the fire.  Watch out for those hot ashes.  Please don’t catch the end of that stick on fire then run around with it, it’s dangerous.  Don’t run right up to the fire like that, I’m afraid you’ll trip.” 
My cousin Jessy was there with her daughter, and there were several other youngsters running around as well. At one point Jessy commented, “It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were the little kids running around the fire!”
I replied, “Yeah, except our parents were in the warm house, leaving us out here to our own devices!”  
Then we laughed that our brothers would be having contests: who could jump over the fire…who could pick up the biggest burning log…who could get closest before the heat forced them back (and who wouldn’t back down and would end up with singed eyebrows)…who could make the sparks fly highest by throwing big rocks in the fire.  And inevitably, who could find some kind of can or bottle to throw in the fire that would eventually explode…..You get the point.  All the fun stuff that I would never let my kids do.
Poor kids.  This  “hover mothering” that the 21st century requires of me is stealing all their fun.

“Okay kids!  That’s close enough!”

All the wee ones, helping my Uncle Craig make a smaller fire for our wienie roast.

Ryan was a little worried about the size of the huge burn pile,
so I told him not to worry because Uncle Craig was a fire expert.
Of course Ryan immediately asked him “Are you a fire expert?”  Craig replies, “Nope. Not me.”
You should have seen the look Ryan shot me. Oops.

Hot dogs done right, followed by s’mores.  Mmmm, mmmm.

My mom and I.
Sorry for the low quality, but I had to post a picture of myself rockin’ my grandmother’s coat and hat.

I’m happy to report that no one got injured/burned/impaled with a stick in the course of the evening….but the very next day Dylan broke out in some funky rash which the doctor said is possibly related to smoke from the fire.  The lesson is that no amount of hover-mothering can inoculate your kids from all harm…..but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop hovering.  The parenting books/blogs/seminars that we all inhale like oxygen have trained us too well for that.  [smiles]

4 comments on “21st Century Hover-Mother

  1. Remember when we used to ride bikes all over the neighborhood all day long in the summer? And eat popcicles with high fructose corn syrup? And play ball in the street? And swim without goggles and sunscreen? How did I survive?

  2. Jessica, I know!!! Doesn’t it make you sad that we can’t just send our kids off on their bikes at breakfast, trust that they’ll fend for themselves at lunch, and tell them to be home by dinner? Seems like their childhood has no chance of having as many memories as ours do…how many memories can they make in our fenced in back yards? Maybe I should move to the country! 🙂

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