Thank you, sweet Mother Mary in Heaven above, for sending forth the Helicopter parent to remove every trace of Catholic mother guilt that has crippled me for years.
Here I thought my parenting techniques were complete atrocities, affecting my children's psyches to the point I still interrogate them on the regular to make sure their moral compass is not guiding them directly to hell.
What is a Submarine parent you ask? We handle things a bit differently.
Helicopter: "NO! Wait, Khaleesi, mommy will lift you up that ladder! DO NOT climb it, you'll fall and break your leg!"
Submarine: "You want to climb that tree? The 40 ft. oak over there? Sure, Michael, have at it. Oh, and for God's sake, do not try and get in that squirrel nest, remember what happened last time?"
Helicopter: "What? A spider? Where? Show me exactly where you saw it. Get going, I'm right behind you. I have mini-Raid in my kit. Go, go, go before it gets away!"
Submarine: "You ate a grasshopper? I'm sure it was crunchy and wriggly. Nah, it's ok, it won't hurt you but hey, consider that dinner!"
Helicopter: "Sparrow, get away from that water fountain! That water is filthy. Mommy has freshly boiled, distilled, mountain spring, filtered Holy water over here. How many times do we have to talk about micro-organisms???"
Submarine: "No, I wasn't worried, Jon, I knew you'd be back eventually. Really? You and Joey found a creek way, way, way back in the woods? Great, I'm glad you guys got a drink. Why don't you guys head on back down there and take a bath, I mean dip and you'll be all clean when we get home."
Helicopter: "I don't care what you thought it was, Sakoya, I have told you 1000 times to never, ever touch anything on the ground. Mommy was almost there with the gloves, you should have waited. Here, now give me those hands so I can dip them in the anti-bacterial port-a-cauldron!"
Submarine: "Damn it, son, what IS that stink? Ahhh, you found a dead bird and buried it. Well, that was very nice of you. The smell? Oh, just go pick up some handfuls of dirt and rub your hands together really well. That's how birds take baths and they don't smell now do they?"
Helicopter: "Zeppelin, just because that little boy bit you does not make it ok for you to bite him back. Remember, daddy talked to you about this. Now go over and tell that boy you're sorry that your arm got in the way of his teeth and offer him this Gluten Free Allergy Free Curds and Whey wafer since he seems to be hungry."
Submarine: "Who bit you, Allan, that scrawny little demon-eyed squirt in the striped shirt? Yeah, head on over there and bite him back. Oh, and make sure it's a good one, you know, leave a mark. Sure, son, I'll video tape it for ya, no problemo!"
Many psychotic concerned parents feel the need to hover over and around their kids; always just one step behind, at the ready, prepared for inevitable doom, ever-lurking under the veil of "can't be too careful these days" attentiveness. However, there are still a few of us submarine parents and grandparents out there.
We're the ones displaying that proud smirk as we watch our kids tumbling around in the dirt, running with sticks, standing at the summit of the slide practicing ninja moves, wiping a few drops of blood off those skinned knees and smearing it on their shirts, laughing like hyenas and having the time of their lives.
You probably won't notice us but we're around -- somewhere. We have our periscopes up and we'll surface when it's time to round 'em up and call it a day.
Now, where's Michael? The squirrel's nest. Dammit!