"....... for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" Psalm 103:14

Parenting never ends


Oh yes, that is what you think it is. Quite possibly every mother's worst nightmare. A grown-up child who has taken up motorsport. Certainly it's had its fair share of "heart in mouth" moments for me over the past few years.

Oh no, please not motorsport...........
Of all the leisure pursuits, sports, recreational activities he could have chosen, he ended up being a navigator in off-road and tarmac rallying. My eldest son has been participating in this particular brand of motorsport for a few years now (and he's actually very good at it). Thankfully he's also paired up with some pretty reasonable drivers along the way, and together they've had lots of enjoyment and some successes too (leading to a bit of vicarious pride for his mother). I can't exactly say it was ever something I encouraged him into, but he's been a car boy since he was tiny, so I'm actually not at all surprised that once he had the opportunity he went into this with gusto.

Car sick yet?
The funny thing is, of the two of my boys, he was the one prone to motion sickness when he was younger. Car trips, boat trips, he had to look out the window and watch the horizon. As for reading, well that was out of the question! But now, here he is strapped into a racing harness, clad in a sweaty fireproof race suit, helmeted and hooked up to intercom, looking down at his "recce" notes and calling the speed, direction, curve, and keeping the driver on the metaphorical straight and narrow. And, amazingly, he's fine!

Thank goodness for common sense & RallySafe
He's a pretty sensible young man though, especially when it comes to safety, and for that I'm incredibly thankful. He's willing to spend above and beyond to get top of the range safety gear. Those words are music to my ears, because when he's participating in a rally, I do find it's on my mind quite a bit. He's shown me how to download and use the RallySafe app, so I can track progress. But that's both good and bad. I can see where they are on the map, I can even see them moving, starting a stage, progressing through, crossing the finish line. I can see them moving between stages, and getting back to base at the end of each day.

But then sometimes I can also see them standing still while all the other cars move on. Not moving at all. Not going anywhere. For longer than they probably should be. A solitary, stationary little red number on the screen, for quite long stretches of time. I watch, refresh, watch, refresh, refresh, refresh. Still not moving. Are they okay? Have they broken down? Have they crashed? There's no way to know. Should I message him? Should I wait? My anxiety levels inevitably start to rise. And that's when I know I'm still capable of "helicopter mothering" even after all these years. He's nearly 30!!

Vindicated!
But in my defence, I have had the occasional text message that goes like this: "Mum, if you see anything, I'm ok". Reassuring only to a point. Especially when the next thing I see (thanks to fellow rally-followers on Facebook) is this........


Oh dear. Well he looks fine, but is he really? Has he been thoroughly checked for concussion? Loss of consciousness? Any broken bones? Neck or spinal injuries? Signs of internal bleeding? We ring the chaplain for a quick chat, just to make sure. And yes, they really did walk away largely unscathed from that one. Amazing.

But mostly it's not that bad. The odd car v shrub, car v fence, or car v bump in the road taken too fast, but mainly their DNFs (did not finish) have been mechanical in nature.

What more can he do?
My lovely boy has taken great pains to explain to me just how safe they are in their vehicle. How strapped in they are. How his head can't even hit the roof or the dashboard in an impact, because of his HANS device. And I can't tell you how grateful I am for this amazing safety equipment. And for YouTube, where he first saw a video demonstrating the head trauma when this device is not worn compared to the minimal movement of the head when it is. And that he determined it was definitely worth the money (without needing any encouragement at all from his mother).

I know I'm going on about this, but maybe that's because rally season has started for the year and it's on my mind lately. I know I have to let him live his life and be glad that he does. He probably has many more years of rallying ahead of him, and I just need to entrust him into God's hands, and then find a way to let go. But it's just so hard sometimes!!!

What about you?
Do you have circumstances in which you find yourself taking on the parenting role again for your adult children? Do you have children (or other loved ones) who engage in risky leisure pursuits? Base jumping? Hang gliding? Downhill skiing? Skydiving? Free diving? Do you find it hard to let go? Tell me I'm not the only one!!!

10 comments

  1. I had to laugh at this post - although I am sure that once I have adult children myself, it might be more of a pained smile than a laugh! I'm sure that a mother's heart never changes, no matter their age - we always want to protect our children and make sure only the best happens to them. It is trusting God with them once they are no longer under our care that is the hard part, as you say!

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    1. Maybe I'll repost this one in 20 years, when your little ones are adults, lol xx

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  2. Sue, I couldn't agree more - with all of it! Truly, your title says it all - "Parenting Never Ends". No parenting manual ever mentions this small fact, God's design for keeping us on our knees. Glad we connected today.

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    1. Absolutely Sandra, there's such truth in saying "All I can do is pray"!! Thanks for your comment xx

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  3. Oh my! They don't tell us when we sign up for this that it never stops, do they? Now that my daughter is an adult I've begun to realise how much my parents hid their worries as we were growing up - and continue to worry about us even though we're now in our 40s and 50s. #teamlovinlife

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    1. Yes Jo, you're so right!! I know I certainly gave my parents plenty of worry-fodder when I was a teenager and young adult!! And even as middle-aged "children" I know they've had times of worrying about me and my siblings. But now that my parents are in their 70s and 80s they're giving us a few concerns in return. The circle of life, I guess!!

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  4. Oh my gosh - I can so totally understand your worry and anxiety. I'd be exactly the same. Thank goodness for all that safety equipment! My boys are 25 and I still worry. My daughter is 23 and I still worry. I think we will always worry - no matter there age. I hope this rally season is a safe and fun one for your son! :-) #TeamLovinLife

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    1. I often wonder if it will get easier Min! Obviously there's not the daily minutiae like there is when children are small and in our care all the time, and I do go for days without worrying about my boys, honest!! LOL. Thanks for your kind thoughts, it's exactly what I hope and pray for too xx

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  5. Wow! Rally driving - scary stuff and definitely something I'd be stressed about too (I don't think I'd want to follow it on an app - even scarier!) I think you worry about your kids forever - it eases off a little when they're in a good place and things are going smoothly, then they hit a bump in the road and all the maternal urges leap back into action and the worrying/wanting to give advice etc starts all over again. Fortunately mine are both fine atm so I'm having a hiatus :-)

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    1. I find the app compelling Leanne, which is both good and bad. When I'm busy and hours go by without checking, I'm not actually worrying the whole time, which is good and I'm thankful for that. But it's also a lovely way to track how they're doing, and mostly the events are trouble-free, again thankfully. It's nice when our adult children's lives seem to be going smoothly though, as you say, but maternal urges don't lie down easily and probably never will. Thanks for your comment xx

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