#SIP Contest - Essay by Susan Watts

Updated: 3 days ago

Helicopter Daughters

March 25, 2020


The first phone call is from daughter number one. I put her on my iPhone speaker so she can talk to both of us. Daughter number two calls ten seconds later on her Papa’s cell phone. He puts her on speakerphone. Now all four of us are sitting in the living room while they proceed to ask us, “How was your day” we reply “Fine.” No, we mean what did you do today? Where did you go? Have you been washing your hands? “Don’t go to the grocery store cause Mom you have enough homemade soups, enchiladas, bread, to live on for a year, in the freezer” “Umm okay girls.” NO! MOM! we mean it!” And don’t be sneaky and try to have coffee with any of your friends!”


My husband and I look at one another, smile, and suddenly we have the same thought. Have they become Helicopter parents? We know the situation is bad with corona. But we are not dumb. The phone call is serious and my husband and I try to joke a little. But they are not having any of it. They are stern. We reflect back to when our daughters were in high school. The monosyllable answers they use to give us when they went out on Friday and Saturday nights with their friends. And as parents, we wanted to know everything they did on those nights. If they were drinking and driving. If maybe they were smoking pot. What boy might try and get fresh with them? Wondered if they would come home safe?


And now with this crisis in our everyday lives. The tables have turned. Our two daughters have become our parents. They want to know our every move and if we are following the rules. They call us every single day which is not usual for our family. We are close. My husband came down with a cold. Just a snotty cold. Their phone calls increased. I had to give reports of his temperature if he was eating, go through a list of symptoms with them each day. I reminded them gently we cannot live our lives in constant fear 24/7. That I could take care of their Papa. But their fears were real. No matter how I tried to make light of the situation they were not having it.


These two lovely beautiful daughters who throughout the years of their growing up, tested our patience, pushed the boundaries, questioned why they had to have curfews and why did they have to leave their bedroom doors open when a boy went into their rooms. Cause after all, “ Mom we just want to talk.” And who still to this day do not want to hear that my husband and I had sex. At least twice. And maybe a few more times since then. These two beautiful human beings have become Helicopter daughters. Who knew?



Susan Watts is a native Californian. She is married and has two daughters. She is Creative Director of her jewelry site Thousand Watt Co. Susan enjoys learning the craft of writing continually with authors Lisa Fugard and Windy Lynn Harris. She also enjoys entertaining, reading, hiking, taking photos, and music.


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