Chuck Terrill: Overprotective Moms?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

When we brought our first-born son home from the hospital, he was cradled in his mother's arms.

We didn't know anything about a car seat. Our old car didn't even have seat belts — they hadn't been invented, yet. Miraculously, we survived the trip.


Five years later, when our next son was born, we had acquired what was called a “Pumpkin Seat.” If you've never seen one, it was akin to an aluminum painting tray, the kind you use a roller with. It did have a little plastic belt on it. You would set the child on the seat next to you, in the car with no seat belts. Hopefully, in an accident, he wouldn't land on the car floor like buttered toast always lands.

If you are of my generation, you remember what the first line of defense was in any automobile emergency. Any time your Mom had to slam on the brakes, she would throw out her right arm. There was no air bag to protect you. No one had even thought of an air bag 45 years ago. Your protection was your mother's strong right arm!

Your mother was the safety device in your car. Do you remember that? You could stand on the front seat. If there was an accident or trouble, she'd save you. Do you remember? Skreek! Flboom! Rubbing your bruised chest you said, "Mom, why did you hit me?"

"I did that to keep you from going through the windshield," she would say.

"Mom, please, could I go through the windshield next time?"

My wife still does it. Throws out her arm. All the grandkids are buckled up in their car seats, in the back seats of the van, where all kids belong. Mary is in the front seat, driving.

God help her adult passenger if she has to slam on the brakes. Out comes that powerful right arm.


This must be a God-given instinct for women. 

But, the good thing about riding with a grandma is that she has that hangey-down thing on her arm. She has that floppy, cushiony thing there, from her arm pit to her elbow. It is the forerunner to the air bag. And it won't break your nose, either.

“A noble woman who can find...she sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks” (Proverbs 31.17).

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.