Stalking Your Grown Children or Guarding Your Angels?


Our hearts raced with excitement as we stood in the donut-shaped cage attached to a giant orange and yellow stripped hot air balloon.  Just as we were gingerly launched into flight high above the prairie, my Blackberry rang.  I couldn’t read the caller I.D. through my sunglasses so I played roulette and answered the phone anyway.  The voice on the other end said, “I can see you.  Can you see me?”

I undoubtedly recognized that familiar Mrs. Poole-like shrill.  I’d heard that voice since birth.  It was the voice of my mother.  I thought to myself, how in the world could she actually see me?  I can’t even escape her while riding in a hot air balloon tethered 350 feet in the air.  I scoured the fields below us for a white-haired lady draped in a brightly colored Bob Mackey frock, wearing Shape-up sneakers while wildly waving at the balloon.  Did she have superhuman vision?  No, she just wanted to see how we were enjoying our outing at the museum.

Living five minutes away from my parents has some major advantages like having a last-minute babysitter and being able to enjoy my mom’s cooking on a frequent basis.  There have been many times my mom ran errands for me when I couldn’t leave the house because of a sick child or my own illness.  And my dad seems to have all the necessary tools for last minute do-it-yourself projects. 

My parents have also been known to “drop in” just to make sure I haven’t expired.  Like the one time my daughter told my sister I couldn’t get up to get her a snack.  So one thing led to another and five minutes later my parents’ (a.k.a. Columbo and Ms. Marple) pulled up the driveway in their Lincoln because they thought I died.  I met them at the window, waved and they pulled right back out as if nothing happened.

After the latest incident, I’ve come to the conclusion that their concerned parenting has turned into stalking.  Let’s just say that when my mother is on a mission, she does so with enthusiasm.  Once she fires her “warning shot”, it’s followed up with a flood of phone calls until her mission is complete.

Here’s an example of a chain of phone calls after I came down with a cold:

Call Number 1:  “Did you call the doctor?”

Call Number 2:  “What did the doctor say?”

Call Number 3:  “Are you at the drug store getting your prescription filled?”

Call Number 4:  “Are you stopping to get some soup?”

Call Number 5:  “Are you home from the drug store?”

Call Number 6:  “Are you eating your soup?”

Call Number 7:  “You should lay down.”

Call Number 8:  “Are you laying down?”

Thoughtful?  Yes.  Here’s where the stalking part comes in.  This week, the QVC value of the day was a 13 inch, glittered Christmas Angel candle that reminded my mother of her youngest grandchild.  Not only was I notified of the purchase – I was notified of its whereabouts in the UPS tracking system after every stop.

Is it a coincidence that my mother put the guardian angel in the trunk of her car, passed me twice driving through town (after she failed to reach me by phone) and “just happened” to pull up my driveway at the same time I arrived home after being gone all morning?

I don’t really know.  What I do know is that some type of guardian angel was watching over us to keep Dogzilla (my Golden Retriever) from jumping through the window when she saw my parents car pull up. 

So now the giant guardian angel (my husband thinks it looks like a giant glittery Jesus) sits aglow on top of my daughter’s window seat watching over my mother’s favorite grandchild.  As I observe my daughter sleeping, I think to myself that I too would probably resort to stalking my child for her own well-being.  And, I pray to the giant glowing Jesus that if my daughter ever catches me stalking her, she’ll be compassionate enough to not have me arrested.

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8 thoughts on “Stalking Your Grown Children or Guarding Your Angels?

  1. My mother was very ill throughout most of my teens and early twenties before she passed, so I don’t remember her being able to ‘stalk’ me, but rather just her concern from afar. My sisters (especially one in particular that has no life at all), however, are a different story. I am the youngest born nine years after the fifth child which makes me everyone’s baby and everyone’s business. I’m now 48 and it still hasn’t stopped. The scenario’s you just described are way too familiar to me. It used to be really annoying, but now that I find myself being tempted to do the same to my children I realize it’s an act of love, and have found a way to cope better with it. Still, I can’t help from expressing this annoyance whenever one of them is concerned whether I’m taking care of myself or not, by saying, “I managed to raise three kids. I think I can raise myself.” It really does work. Try it.

  2. So funny! Right now, considering how little my husband and I get out these days, my jealousy of – er, “happiness for” – you and the ability to enjoy last minute babysitting is overriding my otherwise strong sympathetic reaction. My mom lives out-of-state. Or, rather, I do; she still lives in the city where I grew up. I left, happily, a few years ago. I occasionally question the wisdom of that choice now that I am raising a baby who doesn’t have any grandmothers close by!

    – Sarah

    • I feel for you. I was house bound for over 4 years before we moved. We too left a city with grandparents when our daughter was 1 week old. It’s something you always question, but “place” plays an awful big role in where you want to settle.

  3. I swore I commented on this a few days ago… but apparently my poignant and witty words were gobbled up. Can’t remember what I said, now, but I’m guessing it had something to do with the fact that we must be long-lost sisters. Because you’ve described my mother pretty damn well.

    My dad’s been gone for over twenty years though. So, I might add that we should appreciate them while we have them.

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