Helicopter Mothers

"So, Pamela - Why Did You Do It?"

Here's a little memory for all of you....a writing from my private journals. I called it -"So, Pamela - Why Did You Do It?" I am getting a little tired of the question that Anne my co-author keeps asking and then keeps trying to answer.

As does Linda the Agent. We are sitting in Linda’s office surrounded by all of the books that she represents. Maybe one day - mine will have a cover and be sitting on the shelves. But there is a long way to go from here to there. And Anne has that stern expression that she gets on her face when she wants me to "get" something.

"Pamela - people are going to want to know what it is that has allowed you to do what you did. You see - most people would have found your life pretty big and exciting as it was. You founded a national organization - and all of that"

Linda is nodding her head in agreement, ready to chime in. I count in my head "one, two, three" and then....

"I agree Anne. For most people what Pamela had in her life would have been exciting enough."

Linda lobs to Anne - Anne picks up the ball. "Pam, most people would not go from ‘Oh! Ricky has had an experience with sensual massage - I am going to approach gay men on an internet hook up site and see what fun I can stir up!’"

Well - it wasn’t quite like that. I started with regular internet searches first.

It is almost like we are engaged in some kind of literary psychoanalysis. I have always been a person that decides to jump into something and then deal with the consequences later. Perhaps that is what has made me so incredibly resilient. Hell - my father was a jumper! He took all of us to Italy one summer when I was about seven years old and my mother tells me that he didn’t even have a job!

He was out there pitching - trying to create something - and he smelled something in Italy. We had a fabulous time. I was also a child of eviction - sometimes my father could not pull it all off. Sometimes he gambled and lost. And out of his loss - I had to create some kind of livable reality in a neighborhood that was not my own that was full of isolation. So at thirteen I put an ad in "Arabian Horse World Magazine" and got myself a job in Oceola, PA about seven hours from home.

Did I know what I was doing? Not a clue. But I did it and had an adventure in that was absolutely mixed, complicated, messy and full of fun and new experiences that not many 13 year old girls have today with their "helicopter mothers", cell phones, email, and constant supervision from parents.

Look, there is a cost to everything. There are people who study something their entire lives, mapping everything out before taking a journey. Their trips may be calmer than mine, but the downside is that sometimes they never get to their journey. I am the other end of that spectrum. I get the idea - and tend to put action behind my impulses before the ink gets dry in my synapses. And sometimes I fall on my ass in a big loud and painful way. I always believe that whatever I am doing is all good. That I have it figured out - I may be aware what the downfalls are, and I try to prepare for them all. It’s just that when you are a sky dancer - sometimes you can fall through the clouds.

And yeah - sometimes I bleed. But there is an engine inside of me that just restarts. And I limp along a while until I am better and onto the next thing. Perhaps, I am my father’s daughter. But he dropped dead at 54 in an airport in Germany. I don't want to pay that kind of price.

He died after a last phone call with my Mother from a pay phone at the airport. He was talking about us kids. First he talked about my older brother Mark, then Tracey and when get got to me he said "Pammy? That is the one that I never worry about. That one will be just fine."