More on fear

By Mir
December 9, 2015

Y’all are great. I love that when I ask random questions you have all sorts of answers for me. And yes, I appreciate all of them. I am now 1) smarter about hotels, 2) hoarding cookie recipes, and 3) slightly less worried about loft beds. See? IT TAKES A VILLAGE.

I did get to thinking about the whole bed thing some more, yesterday, and I wrote a post for Alpha Mom and then never got around to linking it because both of my children decided yesterday would be an excellent day to fall deathly ill. Fantastic! But today one is back at school and the other is sleeping peacefully and now I remembered. Here you go! It’s about worrying and fear and a little bit about getting your kid ready for college.

[Bonus anecdote from last week’s college visit: During a parents’ informational session, someone asked about on-campus parking, which seemed reasonable to me, but then their follow-up question was about the availability of electric charging stations (for the record: there are none because this is rural Georgia, not San Francisco). I could not stop giggling, and as I was in a large room of very earnest parents, I had to sort of sink my face into the scarf I was wearing while I tried to regain my composure. To the credit of the people running the session, none of them laughed. I was REALLY HOPING someone would say something like, “I’m sorry, but your precious snowflake may need to trade in that Tesla before coming to campus,” but alas. I won’t even buy my kid a car and that question hit my funny bone. To be fair, it was towards the end of a very long day and also I am a child.]

If you want to skip straight to the bottom line, here it is: We can’t keep our kids safe, any of us. My goal is simply to find an acceptable level of fear and risk and learn to live with it.


  1. Diane

    I work for an urban university. We provide some charging stations, and have ZipCar and Bubbler bike rentals on campus. This in a city with ample public transportation (and a university run van service that will take you – for free! all around campus, plus a program where you can dial-a-hunk (or at least a very large upperclassman) to walk you from someplace to someplace else after the vans are done running for the day).

    We treat our snowflakes well.

    Aside from the book learning education, college should be a place where young adults continue to be prepared for life in the big, bad world. That *may* mean learning to cope with no charging stations for the car, or learning to balance classes with part time work (which is on campus, because no charging stations) or even learning to cope like an adult when people have opinions and ideas that are offensive to you.

    You’ve done an awesome job preparing Chickie – from what I can tell, better than most parents. Here’s hoping your “acceptable” level of (perfectly natural) fear and risk is incredibly low.

    • Tyra

      Dial-a-hunk you say? Tell this mother of medium sized snowflakes more.

      • Mir

        Still laughing over dial-a-hunk. My kid’s college has something similar, though it’s a staff in golf carts that’ll truck you around campus after the buses stop running (and I don’t think anyone calls it dial-a-hunk).

    • Kim

      That it so much more interesting than the “calling the campus police for an escort” I used to do.

  2. Nelson's Mama

    I’ll admit to having to hide my face at orientation when some parents discovered that drinking occurred on campus. Not sure where they’d been or what research they’d missed about college experiences (especially the one we were at). I’m not sure if those parents expected administration to follow their snowflakes all the time?

    Speaking of snowflakes, we did buy our children brand-new cars at sixteen. I bring it up here because it seems most posters think it’s a slippery slope to hell…immediate doom to laziness and bad character. Snowflake one finished grad school yesterday (funded by self-same flake), who, by the way is already gainfully employed and sitting for the CPA exam.

    We all make parenting decisions we think are best – they aren’t right or wrong – they’re just best for our snowflakes. :)

    • StephMA

      Opposite extreme. Both my kids are old enough for a driver’s license in our state. Neither has one. Their choice. We have reasonable public transportation and not so ample parking. I have told them that personal car purchases will most likely be made by them, not me. –never say never … Things happen ;)

      If they had licenses, they would be permitted to borrow my car. After, of course, I added the exorbitantly priced, mandatory, inexperienced driver insurance!

      While it would be nice to send them on errands for me, I am not pushing the license!

  3. Elizabeth

    My husband’s company gives a huge subsidy on electric cars like the Nissan Leaf or the Volt– nothing sexy like the Tesla. If you can charge for free at work (or school) and the lease payment is nearly nothing, it is very hard to buy anything else for a second car. (We leased instead of buying because we’re hoping the technology improves range dramatically in the next three years.) So maybe the presumed snowflake is driving the opposite of a Tesla, in terms of coolness?

    We also don’t live in rural Georgia, although we do have family there.

    I don’t mention this in rural Georgia, but I’m hoping for a network of self driving cars by the time my child needs independent transportation. An algorithm tested over billions of miles is bound to make better decisions than my kid with an underdone brain.

    • Elizabeth

      Realized that “underdone brain” absolutely does not convey what I mean, which is that the frontal cortex isn’t finished maturing until age 25. Sounds potentially very nasty, and I’d retract it if I could. I’m sorry.

      • Susie

        Here I was thinking “underdone brain” was the perfect description of the teen years… You’re fine, mama!

  4. Ellen

    My kiddo dropped out of expensive private college and forfeited very high dollar scholarship and now, at 27, has decided I am to blame for divorcing her father, an abusive (physically and mentally) a**hole. Even though we pay her cell phone bill, got her a job at husband’s company, and he is an awesome stepdad like Otto – and she gets free child care from another grandma. Sorry, I’m having a pity party today and can’t post this anywhere that she could see, and I thought when I was done with the awful teen years (my girl is a twin to yours) it would stay better, but it didn’t. #sorrytousethisasmywhineforum

  5. Kim

    My parents bought me a used car for my high school graduation. When I was a junior, I sold it back to them because I didn’t want to pay the insurance, and I did without (in California, no less, where public transportation is minimal.) Then I went overseas for a semester, and when I got back, my awesome stepdad handed me the keys and told me he was covering the first 3 months of insurance. That was great – enough support to get me through, enough hands-off to let me learn.

  6. Christine

    My husband’s office is in a very high-income town. His boss has a Tesla, complete with a “Tesla parking only” sign above the charging station. The sign was stolen over the summer… by high school kids on segways. What a life! (The police did find the kid with the sign and make him give it back, at least.)

  7. Ellen

    Another tip: My daughter used to get sick quite a bit, too. We had no plan for this so when she got sick for the first time and was 3 hours away, it was a challenge. In hindsight, I would find a PCP in her area that she can get to easily.

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