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Do you get all up in their grill?

Categories: Mommy Angst

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I love the internet. It’s a kittentastic parade of memes, catchphrases, and Urban Dictionary-isms. I would hardly know how to talk to anyone between 11 and 29 if it weren’t for the internet. In fact, it is the internet that reminded me of today’s title phrase, “All up in my grill.”

All up in my grill = Someone who is “in your face”. Being excessively annoying or bothersome.

I think that defines parent (from a teenager’s perspective, anyway), don’t you?

My son Nathaniel is visiting me this week. He’s the one who went to high school in France last year. And he is going back again this year. It’s all part of the Grand Master Plan I hatched for him two years ago. The Plan involves him getting out of his house and the country, to a country where he would feel more at home and like himself. From there, he could choose a university (preferably one near me) and go on with his awesome life. And he’s doing it. He’s doing the Plan. Better still, he is choosing it.

Which brings me to all up in his grill.

Here’s the thing. The second-year-in-France would not have happened if I hadn’t amped up my grill-all-up-inning. Nathaniel was going to let inertia choose his destiny for him. Do I stay? Do I go? Not doing what it takes to go is the same as choosing to stay. And I didn’t like how it felt to watch him choose his life that way. Plenty of people choose through inertia. I know I have. I didn’t want that for him. So every few days I kept at it. Asking. Reminding. Nagging, probably. I hated doing it but at the same time, he had already made it clear that going back to France was his choice. He just needed help navigating all the hurdles to get there — visa, insurance, letters of commitment. All up in his grill.

But I can’t escape the niggling sensation that tells me I was way over-parenting this one. Let them work it out, that voice whispers. But you know what? I think it’s part of what it takes to be a good parent to be all up in their grill when it’s needed. I don’t regret it.

Where do you draw the line between all up in their grill and over-parenting/helicopter parenting?



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