42.4 F

Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Column: Amanda Hardwick

So I read an article not too long ago that equated overprotective parents to aircrafts. Apparently, these mothers and fathers that hover over their grown children have been appropriately dubbed “helicopter parents.”

I bet you know the type. I’m referring to those parents who still try to contact their kid’s professors when they receive a bad grade, have passwords to their son’s or daughter’s SISWeb account and/or lurk in the back of their kid’s class with dark glasses and a hood on. (Okay, I don’t know of that last one actually happening, but I want it to.)

Anyway, before reading that article, I didn’t want to think parents like this really existed. This year, however, a perfect example of such a person has been so blatantly thrown in my face on several occasions that it can no longer be ignored. A public column is probably not the greatest place to admit this, but this nuisance is, in fact, the mother of my roommate.

Exhibit A: To my alarm, an urgent call from Doug of the Davis Police Department warned me of my roommate’s disappearance the other night. This was about 10 minutes before my “missing” roommate skipped through the door after returning from dinner with her boyfriend. My roommate – we’ll just call her Batman for confidentiality sake – had forgotten to contact her mother that day, so it only made sense that she had been kidnapped by the Legion of Doom. The police had to be notified.

To say Batman’s mother is a helicopter mom would be like describing the Titanic as a schooner, or comparing KetMoRee to the Silo. Batman’s mother is more specifically a Bell 212, a military spy helicopter used to gather detailed information about a specific subject. That helicopter is, in fact, a real thing. I Googled it, so it must be true. She monitors her kid’s every move in an effort to keep her close and stay in control, not out of love or sheer curiosity.

I have a hard time understanding this because my mother is like a crop duster. She has a knack for anticipating infestations of sorts and taking steps to prevent them. If I cough during a phone call with her, I get a call from the Cowell Student Health Center the next day confirming the appointment she made me. If I take a three-hour nap over Christmas break, she has my therapist aunt diagnose me with depression. You know, normal things. If a children’s book were written about my mom, it would probably be called The Crop Duster Who Cared Too Much.

My dad, on the other hand, is like a paper airplane. Bob Hardwick blows where the wind takes him, which is usually the nearest pizza place or a golf course. But let’s not overlook some of his more endearing paper-airplane qualities. While my crop duster mom carefully calculates every move she makes, my dad has a more carefree, unpredictable nature.

You can throw the paper airplane as hard as you can, but it’s still going to do a quick loop and fly right back in your face. Like his paper equal, he’s not that complicated a guy, but he still has some cool tricks up his sleeve … or wing, I guess. He gives me my freedom and I never feel like I’m being hovered over.

Anyway, in the end my parents do the things they do because they care for me and blahdy, blah, blah, blah … all that good stuff. Batman’s mother calls the police on her daughter, criticizes our house when she visits and shoots down Batman’s hopes and dreams because she does not want her daughter to be more successful than she is.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I read this article that compared parents to aircrafts, and now every time I think of someone’s mom, I find myself wondering what type of plane they would be. While I convinced myself this rant was coming to some epic point about overbearing parents and how that affects their children, I have only come to realize that people need to stop writing crappy articles that make me ponder what kind of aircraft my parents or my roommate’s psycho mother would make.

My mom is a teacher, my dad’s a lawyer and Batman’s mom is a stay-at-home idiot. I guess now that I really think about it, none of them really have anything in common with air transportation.

AMANDA HARDWICK has a fear of flying that could probably be alleviated if her parents were actually aircrafts. If you agree, give her a holler at aghardwick@ucdavis.edu.


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