This is me. Stalker mom. Waiting through the movie in the cinema parking lot because I refuse to be a “drop off mom” to my children’s utter horror and my friends utter delight and gratitude…From “soccer mom” to “stalker mom”: one woman’s journey through parenting teens…I’m the mom who showed up and figured on staying through play dates when my kids were small. The one who called and asked the caregiver “do you have guns in the house?” and stood my sweaty and panicky ground through the awkward stammering of the person on the other end who managed to be surprised I was asking. I’m the mom who still goes inside to talk with the parents to make sure one will be on premises the entire time (a deal breaker if there won’t be one). I’ve been eye rolled more times than I can tell you by both my kids and some parents who clearly view me as an over protective helicopter parent. That’s fine. Im cool with being lame. I don’t hover around while the kids are hanging out, or sit next to them in the movies. Nope. Im the stalker discreetly distanced, engaged in another activity, near enough to know when things are TOO quiet, or too…handsy…shall we say. I’m also close enough if a situation changes and things get uncomfortable. Yup. I’m dope with my rep.
There’s excellent precedence for this: I remember my own wayward and misspent youth. I was a normal kid. A really GOOD kid. Honor society, drama club, band, church teen folk group, held down a part time job at Ames department store all the way through high school and STILL managed QUITE a lot of less than saintly (and certainly my share of “handsy”) activities all while managing to make it home by curfew. A 10pm curfew. That’s saying a lot. In other words: I was a normal, hormonal teen, not yet reliably capable of making CONSISTENTLY good choices, particularly when it came to impulse control abandoned mob mentality shenanigans. I, like all teens, was a work in progress. Trying out my own opinions and desires and decision making skills. It’s called growing up. It takes a while and I’ll be the first to let you know when I get there myself.
I have excellent parents who actively engaged in our lives. They were candid, loving, decently reasonable, and firm with setting boundaries. I modeled my own style after theirs. I may have resented the hell out of their rules when I was under them, but the truth is I felt safer for having those boundaries in place. Safer from the world, and safer from myself. So for the forseable future (and with 5 kids….that suckers gonna take a while to get here) I will be the woman following at a distance in the public gardens, reading a book in parking lots everywhere, and shoving my face and my hand through the door to introduce myself and scope out the lay of the land. If you need me, I’ll be there. I’m STALKER MOM. And kids? You’re damn welcome.