Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Best Moms are Helicopters

To You:

This morning I was trying to exercise.  The three kids were busting some awesome kickboxing moves with me when the littlest one disappeared.  Apparently, he wanted to match his big sister's shirt...that's his new thing...matching.  He and I have been twins for the last couple weeks.  It's pretty endearing.  Anyway, soon enough he was sitting on the top step shirtless and a bit frustrated telling me something.  Truthfully, sadly, I'm not really sure what he was telling me.  I've been getting into exercise choreography and the other two kids were following along beautifully.  Between counting, cuing, punching, and kicking, with music playing, I really didn't hear what my youngest said.  I replied with one of those "usually cuts it" broad comments like, "Ok buddy.  Come on down."  Well, this time it didn't cut it.  He tried again and so did I.  "You're fine.  Come on."  "But MOM!"  "Come here kiddo.  I can't hear what you're telling me."  Now he was crying.  He stomped down the stairs. I leaned over with my feet still moving to the beat as he hollered.  I couldn't understand him.  Finally, it hit me.  I wasn't paying attention to him.  I stopped moving and listened.  "My drawer is stuck Mom!!!"  I took him by the hand, and he led me upstairs.  I fixed his drawer in about 20 seconds, and we looked through it for his matching gray shirt.  No more tears; no more frustration.  We went back downstairs and joined the other two, who were now having a fine time making up their own moves.

A Lesson in Aviation

I love airplanes.  I remember the first time I flew in one.  There was nothing as exciting as taking off.  I looked out the window and saw the clouds below me!  It was beautiful!  It was incredible to me that the airplane could get so many people over the water and so far away in so short a time.

While the airplane powers from Point A to Point B, who do we send for rescue missions?  Who do we send to help the sick, the drowning, and the fire victim?  Helicopters.  Why?  Helicopters hover.  Helicopters can stop where they are, hover, and drop down anywhere.  The world needs airplanes, but the world also needs helicopters.

In our own lives, sometimes we are and need to be airplanes.  We need to power through the to-do list.  We need to get to places and get stuff done.  However, if we are constantly in this mindset, we are missing out.  We are missing out on opportunities to connect with our kids and people around us.  I often remember the quote which reads, "God does notice us, and he watches over us.  But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.  Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other."  When we see a need, we have to be willing to stop going forward with our own plans, learn how we can help, and do it.  We have to be willing to push pause on the music, listen to the need, and help the little boy with his drawer.  We have to be willing to be a helicopter.

Like helicopters, we are often on rescue missions to help the sick, the drowning, and the fire victim.  Although, usually these victims are sick with heartache, drowning in stress, or burning with inward pains.  We may be called to rescue a soul who has lost his or her way in the world and isn't sure where to turn for help.  This past weekend I watched a great movie highlighting the lives of several individuals.  One of the segments showed how a teenage mother was overcome with the stress and frustration of raising her child on her own and losing a second baby right after his birth.  She went into a convenience store and broke down.  The cashier at work noticed this young woman crying and went over to console her.  The cashier offered assistance and this became a turning point in this young mother's life.  What if the cashier had been like me this morning, too busy working to stop and help?

"A Desert Place Apart"

As a Christian, I try to learn from the life of Jesus Christ.  After Christ heard that His cousin and dear friend John had been killed, He sought seclusion with some of the apostles in a "desert place apart" across the water.  John's life was foretold by prophets as one who would prepare the people for the Messiah.  John knew of Christ's mission from the womb and bore testimony of Christ's divinity.  John was worthy to baptize the Son of God.  John was imprisoned prior to his death and then brutally beheaded to satisfy the selfishness and iniquity of a family.  We can only guess what Christ's emotions and thoughts may have been as He learned of the death of this loyal and righteous man.  Christ departed with His apostles for some rest and time apart.  As Christ tried to privately leave the city, many people saw and followed on foot.  The scripture says, "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14), "And he began to teach them many things" (Mark 6:34).  Christ hovered.  He was trying to get from A to B, but en route saw a need.  He stopped, assessed the needs, touched down, and met the needs.  What followed was the great miracle of feeding the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fishes.  It appears that Jesus and the apostles did eventually have their needed respite, as Jesus sent the apostles off in a ship and He went into "a mountain apart to pray" (Matthew 14:23).

Helicopters Today

For us, hovering might look like taking an extra minute to talk to someone in the grocery store or pick up dropped items.  It might be stopping to repair a flat tire or locating a parent of a lost child.  Maybe it is moving the garbage can that blew into the road or shoveling a car out of the snow.  It could be hefting luggage for that crazy lady traveling by herself with three kids under the age of six, (thank you kind man!) or taking kids for said crazy lady when she needs to work (thank you dear friends!).  It is usually a small act, but it often encourages others to do likewise.  Sometimes it is not so much an act of service as it is an act of being, being present for the people around you and relishing in that relationship.

The other day, my daughter had a friend over to play.  When the friend's mom came to pick-up, we all went out to say goodbye.  The kids had been playing with their Hoppity Hops.  (I don't know the official name of them, but they are super fun...great gift Grandma!)  As the car drove away, my boys ran down the sidewalk waving.  My daughter asked if we could play a game.  "No," I replied.  We had homework and a piano lesson and clean-up to do.  Meanwhile, the boys at the end of the sidewalk sat on those balls and started hopping back home.  They looked so cute bobbing up and down that I ran in to get my camera.  I filmed them coming in and then took a quick interview about how school was going.  As I filmed, my five-year-old bopped me with his ball.  I put the camera down, and what ensued was an epic battle.  Imagine a boxing match with giant balls on your hands instead of punching gloves.  It was awesome.  The kids were in tears laughing.  Afterward, we laid on the grass and looked for shapes in the clouds.  The boys crunched the first of the fallen leaves.  We jump-roped and practiced roller skating.  It was a beautiful evening.  A memorable evening.  If I had insisted on my plan, I would have missed out.  Usually we do need to get the homework, piano, and cleaning done, but sometimes, sometimes we just need to hover.  We need to stop and enjoy the people around us.  The results of our hovering may not always be life-changing exchanges or miracles, but they will always be sweet.

The more we look for these opportunities to hover, the more we will notice them everywhere:  on the road, at the store, in the office, and in our own homes.  Let us examine our lives.  Are we entirely tied up in our to-do lists and plans for the day?  Or, are we looking for opportunities to help others?  When we see a need, are we willing to put aside our own plans and stop to help?  Are we trying to be rock awesome helicopters?  Because everyone knows, the best moms are helicopters.  Scratch that.  Everyone knows, the best people are helicopters.

Love, Marielle


  1. Made me think of a study I recently read about cell phone use. We can't be present in everything all the time as many are trying to do these days. This study linked a decline in empathy to the increase in cell phone use. If we want to hover we should probably not have cell phones up and auto-pilot on in our life.

    1. Thanks for sharing this! That was an interesting study you linked. It seems natural that they also noticed people being more narcissistic...more "it's all about me." I thought it was really interesting, however, that they found that actual community service hours had increased possibly due to new requirements for high school graduations and college entrance- says a lot about motive. We have to try to do things for the right reasons or they won't have the same effect. Thanks again for sharing!!!

    2. PS-Super good point about the cell phones in general!

  2. Great analogy, planes vs helicopters! I am typically a plane. We should petition Pixar to make a new movie called Helicopters. Thanks for sharing. Can I count reading this blog as "hovering?" I hopped on my computer to get some stuff done...but your posts pull me in!

  3. Totally counts as hovering in my opinion. :)