| from Suzanne Phillips |

It really doesn’t matter what phase or season of parenting you are in, the reality of jump seat living is just part of the gig. Do you have a little one about to head to kindergarten for the first time? Maybe someone taking the leap into middle school? High school? College? Getting married? Or the million other firsts and lasts in between? A new season means NEW opportunities and challenges and goals, and so we brace ourselves. We, moms, hold on while we let go. 

Now that might seem like a contradiction, but I believe that holding on while letting go is what gives us both the courage and the strength to watch our young birds fly! We hold onto God and His promises as we take a step back, trusting He has a good plan for HIs child(ren) and for the season ahead.  We resist helicopter parenting and the temptation to constantly hover OVER our kids because those blades are dangerous should they take personal responsibility and choose to rise up.

Picture, for a moment, your children having the courage to take ownership of their lives and being brave enough to take a risk. They are willing to rise up and face their own fears and the unknown. Yet, as they rise, they are met with the swirling blades and threatening winds of our fear, their wings not strong enough to break through the sheer force. (Did you know helicopters aren’t aerodynamic? They fly by sheer, brute FORCE.)  They are called choppers for a reason!

I believe if we shift our perspective of parenting from fear to faith, we might coin a new term.  We would move from helicopter parenting to jump seat living. We would live alongside our children instead of over them for 18 frantic years, preparing them for what is to come.

Think about being on a plane with flight attendants. They know the end designation, how the plane operates, what supplies are available, and the behavior that will be tolerated during the flight. With a smile they lead by giving the boundaries and establishing routine for the flight. Once they do their part they pull down the jump seat and take a seat. They are aware and available, but they sit down and allow the flight to unfold within the defined boundaries they have set. They are there when needed and are appropriately positioned for emergencies, however they are not walking from passenger to passenger hovering over their every move. 

I am personally wading through SO many transitions in my family. Today as I write this, I am looking in the rearview mirror and considering the value of a jump seat with a seatbelt. Our kiddos have ONE Savior. Just one, Jesus. Our hope is in Him! We don’t have to ask Him to take the wheel, He already has it. We can trust Him no matter the age and stage. And, if we don’t trust Him, we teach and train our kids that He is not trustworthy. Let’s land the choppers and take a seat as we let go and let God. Begin you days with a lens locked on potential and full of expectation. Let those babies flap their wings and rise up. Hold on and let go for the ride!  

Suzanne Phillips is a storyteller with a desire for connection, a teacher with a heart for transformation, and a visionary with a commitment to the family and discipleship. A season of trauma and the loss of a child led Suzanne to a radical conversion and a passionate pursuit of truth. 

Suzanne is the co-founder of Ignite the Family which is now the conference division of Celebrate Kids. She is also a co-founder of Legacy Community Academy in Atlanta, GA, a unique hybrid academy and model of education with a vision to launch mission-minded student leaders who shape culture. Suzanne is wife to Lane, mama to Ansley, Ward, and Lilly, and mom-in-love to Will.  At any given time you will find Suzanne with a book in her hand, people at her table, an idea on her mind, and family in her heart. She is motivated by seeing others live out their unique calling and loves serving as an associate for Celebrate Kids.