I look out my family room window and there is Little Man, happily tromping on the automatic pool cover, waves gently bobbing him up and down. My first reaction was to laugh to myself at the cuteness of the moment; then the ‘Mom’ instinct kicked in, I opened the window and yelled…”GET. OFF.!!” Little Man freezes in his tracks (rising and falling, rising and falling like a boat on the ocean), looks about, curious as to where that mysterious stern voice is emanating from, which is destroying his joyful play. His bubble of fun was burst. He did get off the pool, and he never did locate me in the side window. His apparent bewilderment and awe of being ‘watched’ reminded me of an episode raising my daughters.
While my girls were growing up I counseled them to behave, even when mom wasn’t looking because I had eyes in the back of my head. No, I didn’t creep them out. And no, they didn’t think I truly had eyes in the back of my head, (Although I suspect the ‘kind’ offer to brush my hair may have had the ulterior motive of verifying the validity of my words) but they did know that mom would find out any mischievous acts they chose to commit.
Staring out at Ruger, I inwardly giggle as I remember one lesson-learning instance, when leaving for school my eldest daughter asked if she could purchase a sucker from student council at school that day. I told her no, she had a treat in her lunch, she did not need to purchase a lollipop. Besides, she was late for the bus, and she had no money nor the time to get it. Later in the day, while I was volunteering in the school (unbeknownst to offspring #1), one of the other mothers happened to mention the ‘special occasion’ lollipops and informed me that my beloved child had borrowed the needed currency from her daughter to purchase afore mentioned confection. She assured me it was perfectly alright by her, but she wanted to be sure I was alright with it. I-Was-Not. I thanked her and assured her my daughter would be returning the borrowed funds in the morning. I wrapped up my volunteering and headed home to await the bus.
Not much later I watched, from the front bay window, as the dynamic duo hop off the bus and hurried home. Once coats were hung, backpacks emptied and afternoon snack served, I sat my angels down and inquired about their day. I allowed ample opportunity for a confession from my spirited eldest and when none appeared to be forthcoming, I inquired directly,
‘How was the sucker?’
That precious little cherub turned the most lovely shade of crimson in the cheeks, eyes widened, jaw dropping as she asked
‘How did you find out?’.
I answered: ‘I told you, I have eyes in the back of my head’.
Fortunately for mama-bear, the lesson was a double whammy since Pee Wee was sitting right next to her squirming sister, absorbing all. I explained that while I didn’t literally have eyes resting in the back of my skull, we did live in a community that cared for all the children. I counseled them that there was nearly nothing they could do that I could not find out about, and that they needed to act accordingly. And yes, the cost of that lollipop was coming out of her piggy bank.
Watching my puppy straddle the waves created by his antics, I am reminded that parenting is much like an ocean. We ride the waves. We have peaks, we have valleys. And in the end, we hope that we sail that ship safely home to harbor as we deliver our precious cargo to those unknown lands we call, the world. I’ve had my share of valleys, but that was a ‘peak’ moment of motherhood. And, how much of a blessing is it that I have been gifted with the opportunity and responsibility of raising this incorrigible, spunky, energetic <not so> little bundle of fur, who had rekindled those rare moments of parental success?
Now, if I can just work my mama-magic on Little Man enough to convince his ‘box full of rocks’ noggin that I still have those Eyes, on the Back of My Head, he might turn out half as good as my girls. Then again, that blue roller coaster in the backyard is like the Siren…..calling.