Confessions of a hover mother

It was the end of a lovely five-week visit from our college freshman. He was home during basketball season because he is red-shirting this year and also recovering from a knee injury. It was great to have him here, especially because chances are we won't have long stretches of time with him during the holidays for the next few years. I hear they get "a few hours to go home for Thanksgiving dinner, and a few days for Christmas."  So we soaked in the five weeks.  He worked hard on our property, and the clean hillsides, the absence of dump piles and the rearranged bookcases are evidence that it was not all Netflix and parties over break. But suddenly he was confronted with something he missed: a scholarship deadline.

Bren's athletic scholarship covers tuition and fees at this point, so he is in need of housing/food/personal expense funding. His generous Nana set up a college account for each of her grandchildren, and that is helping. But it will not last long at this rate. The athletic scholarship could change, but we have to look at financial plans based on what is and not what could be. One of the ways he can get additional funding is through the school's general scholarship application, open for applying starting in January. He and I had one of those, "UH OH" conversations last weekend, thinking that it was the scholarship deadline. He could have done his writing and submitted his portion,  but there are letters of recommendation required. Was it too late to ask for letters? Brennan thought it was.

Enter Hover Mother. I came home and started working magic with my google searches. I discovered that the due date was actually three weeks away, and if he acted quickly he could request letters of recommendation without begging and apologizing for the urgent time frame.  If I had just texted him that fact, all would have been great. It was VERY welcome news for him.

But no.

I had to go to full Charlie Brown Teacher "WAH WAH WAH" mode in my email. Lists of what the scholarship providers are looking for, why, and how the future of the human race is dependent upon worthy recipients. It was a full-blown Hover Mother Moment.

And so I get an email response the next morning. He was REMARKABLE in his kindness and admirable in his firmness. The basic message: thanks so much for finding out about the due date and for your suggestions for letters of recommendation. But, Mom! Context!! Not the best method for the message. And the future of the human race? Really?

His response was spot on.

He didn't just go dark (and I would have understood if he did.) He didn't return the favor and go OFF on me (and it must have been tempting.) He just said thanks...and no thanks. And ended his text with a love you.

Thanks, son. That was just what a recovering hover mother needed to get back on her own two feet. Love you, too.


So much wisdom here — yours and his. You are a good person who raised good people.

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