Wizardry and the helicopter parent

by YWCom Admin

Had a query come through the message box…

I’ve always wondered, for the Young Wizards Universe, what about kids who don’t have as much free ranging ability to travel? Nita and Kit both have parents who are pretty laid-back and willing to let them roam all over creation. What about helicopter parents? Is there a spell that’ll give you a tug when they’re near your room if you’ve teleported away?

Oh yeah, absolutely.

Once you’re into your Ordeal, you’ve got access to the ability to activate any spell you can think up and build (and a lot you’ll find in the Manual that you might not have thought of) and can supply the power to drive. If you choose to immediately turn your attentions to getting out of the house without being noticed — and back without anyone knowing you’ve been gone — there are a hundred ways to do that, and to be warned about changes in local conditions so that you can get back in time for your absence not to be noticed.

(Also consider Dairine’s attempted/temporary solution in High Wizardry — the “clone-yourself” method. There’s really no telling how long she might have gotten away with that one had she not forced Nita, and then their Seniors, into action by her carelessness with worldgates. And there are certainly families where the parents would be insufficiently engaged with their kids emotionally to recognize that this kind of subterfuge was being used on them… if they could even imagine the possibility.)

As for covering up for yourself on a regular basis– The wizardly preference not to lie is born of straightforward pragmatism. The universe tends to react badly when someone with the power to alter the world’s structure at its most basic levels starts routinely playing fast and loose with language, intention, and the very permeable interface between them. Nita’s and Kit’s preference for the hard-line approach — whenever possible, simply not saying things that aren’t true — is smart; but not every wizard necessarily handles their interactions so rigorously. There’s a lot of wiggle room, and how tightly or loosely a wizard adheres to the ideal is, at the end, between them and the Powers that Be.

The Powers also leave to the individual probationer-on-Ordeal, or post-Ordeal wizard, the issue of what their continuing practice looks like in terms of their relationship with their parents. There are certainly many wizards whose active practice will have begun with using their newfound wizardry to mitigate or end abusive relationships at home, with parents or siblings or others. There will have been runaways, temporary or permanent: there will have been new wizards who’ve chosen to stay put and keep what they’re doing tightly under cover, for a wide spectrum of reasons.

Every solution to parental control in situations where the wizard does not feel able to “come out”, or comfortable with it, is going to look different, obviously. Indeed, even when a wizard is out to parents and/or family, there may be aspects of their practice they prefer to keep private. Some of their solutions to the quandary may not look much like solutions to the uninformed observer, especially where the abuse is subtle or the relationships are complex (an example would be Mehrnaz Farrahi’s relationship with her [wizardly] family in Games Wizards Play). But again, at all times, how the wizard handles their practice is finally between them and the Powers — and becomes an issue for joint assessment only after the wizard in question is no longer corporeal (assuming they’re from a species where one’s corporal status has anything to do with life).


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