by Marla Finn
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? A plane? Sarah Palin looking for more wolves to shoot? NO! It's Helicopter Mom hovering over her children. Watch out! You better get out of my way, or else!
Okay, listen. We've all been hearing and reading a ton about the current generation of moms and dads who are too involved in their children's lives and just can't seem let go. Well, let me tell you that I'm not just one of those. I specialize. I have unique talents and longevity that no other Helicopter Mom has. After all, I've been one for over a quarter century now. No wonder all the other HM's come to me for advice.
Oh, sure, I have my fingers in everything my children are doing, even though they're now in their early and mid 20's. The finger part is the initial requirement to get into the HM club. With a flip of my cell phone, I call the heads of universities and demand immediate attention for my kids. Any counselor, professor or advisor better watch out for my wing span, cause I don't stop flying till my mission is accomplished. And it so helps that I do character voices for a living. Cause every good helicopter mom knows that pretending you are your kid is essential for completing any task...especially at the university level, where they won't even talk to you if you breathe the words "mother" or "father."
In fact, I just got off the phone with the admissions office at the college my youngest hopes to transfer into this fall. I made my voice higher, to sound like I'm 20 instead of 60, I had her address, social security and student numbers at the ready, and I played my daughter like an academy award winning actress to get the info I wanted immediately. No one beats me to the punch. No one takes advantage of my kids. No one tells me "no." HM's do not ever take "no" for an answer. If we can't get what we want one place, we fly off somewhere else till we can.
Now, most HM's don't have other powers, but I do. Oh, yeah, I've also been called "Supermom," and I'm one of those, too. Big deal. A lot of moms can be that. But to really fly high in the HM world these days, having extra talents really comes in handy. What are mine? Let's start with outstanding peeping Tom skills, and the ability to eavesdrop from outside closed doors. When my girls are talking in whispers, behind closed doors, about sexual encounters with guys, or how they drank themselves into a stupor then blacked out at a party when the cops arrived, I know psychically what will happen next. The door will suddenly open. And I am prepared. I hastily flee the scene to the laundry room, and appear totally relaxed and in the middle of folding laundry. Trust me, this is the only way to keep your kids from catching you in the act of snooping, and then having to endure their wrath and outrage about having a mother who listens in to their private conversations.
Snooping and fleeing are not my only skills. Remember-- I told you I was a special one. I not only hover to obtain any and all info I can for and about my kids, but I'm also actively, always looking for mates for them. It's so frequent, in fact, that my husband has now dubbed me, "Helicopter Mom Pimp." He bestowed that honorific on me during a recent trip to Santa Barbara, to help our daughter move into her new apartment at college. Every time I saw a cute guy for her, I flew over to schmooze with him. When we were on the beach, I made friends with the hot lifeguards who were close to her age. At restaurants, I buzzed over every college-aged waiter who looked sweet or promising, and found out everything about him. At Best Buy, I got the cutest guys to give me their phone numbers, including all the guys on the Geek Squak (after all, you never know when she might need free computer help, right?). I honestly can't help myself. And though all good HM's embarrass their children at certain times, after that trip, my daughter said she wanted to strangle me for all the pimping I was doing on her behalf. Wow. Some kids are so ungrateful.
Now, I fear, it's spreading to my whole life. I am becoming a Helicopter Mom Pimp friend, teacher and neighbor, too. Oh, sure, maybe it's from being Jewish and having the "yenta" gene implanted in me since birth. Maybe that's why I can't help myself. Even though my daughters no longer live in the same city as I do, I still scout the horizons daily for smart, sexy, funny, talented, rich guys (preferably doctors, lawyers or successful business-types, for when they finally tire of their jocks, frat boys and actor/musician types). For my older girlfriends, I'm searching for guys who are kind, wealthy and can still get it up without Viagra. My students are like my adopted children, so for them I'm looking for mates who are almost as good as the top guys I'm saving for my girls (cause they're certainly not getting my A-list ones till I'm sure they're out of the running for a spot in my family). It really is an obsession. I won't rest my wings till I find a soul mate for everyone in my life that I care about.
But, I must dash. My engines are humming. It's a new day and the friendly skies are calling. Watch for me soon in the skies over you, especially if you mess with my kids.
Marla Finn is an actress, writer, teacher, living in Scottsdale, AZ. She is the Co-founder of the Phoenix Film Institute, along with her Emmy Award Winning Producer husband, Peter Stelzer.As an actress, this past season, Marla played "Peg," in the film, "Jake's Corner," and is currently in theaters playing the waitress in the movie, "Sugar."
photo by 111 Emergency