I probably need to say no more to the women in my audience (of 33, popularity is on the rise!). You all already know where this is going, having just rolled yours eyes and said, ‘oh, right.’ I didn’t even know mom vision was a real thing until I became one and was immediately able to see things in other rooms, under beds, the backseat of a car, in the future, or in a school locker without even leaving the comfort of my mom throne.
Just recently I was tasked with finding Rich’s label maker after he searched, searched and searched and ‘coooouuuuldn’t fiiiiiind it.’ Three steps into his lab and I spotted it sitting on the corner of his workbench, ready to address the heckle out of some 35 Christmas Cards. It annoys the piss out of him, this wondrous sense. I know for a fact he puts off any announcements of lost items because he doesn’t want to clock the land speed record I set finding them. Or maybe it’s my very dramatic announcement of ‘Mom Vision, Engage!’ that he doesn’t like. Hard to say. Currently missing are a pair air pods. I haven’t cracked the code on those yet and about 80% of me suspects they aren’t even lost – he just wants to enjoy watching me not find something.
And children? Good grief. Do they have any vision at all? I can sit at the dinner table, cutting a steak while holding a conversation about the second amendment and throw in a quick blurb to the open fridge/staring child about the ranch dressing being located on the last shelf on the fridge door, third bottle from the right, without even looking. Oftentimes, when I’m sending them for something, I lay it out so specifically that I’m fairly certain Stevie Wonder could find it just to avoid the inevitable ‘it wasn’t there.’
“Can you grab a plunger? It’s in the garage, twelve steps from the door, stuck on the right side next to driver side real wheel of my 2011 Jeep Compass, between the old Ikea dresser that’s been painted green and the gray plastic folding table that Dad saws on right below the kayak paddles – the yellow ones, not the red ones. It’s black, with ridges, 24 inches tall and smells a little icky.”
Sometimes, I amaze myself. Sometimes, I am asked if I’ve seen something, and I feel like I go into this weird locational trance. “No, I don’t even know what the Super Power Gosh Diggity Nerf Bullets look like. Oh wait…hang on…something’s happening…(eye close)…yes, yes…I’m seeing them…there they are…look in your closet, behind your laundry bin and under the stiff socks on the right…you will find what you seek….and please do something with those violated socks.”
What I’m learning… is that this super power is not limited to items. And what I haven’t learned…is when I should actually step in and use them. What happens when you can see into the future and the mistakes that your children may be directing themselves to? I supposed that’s age dependent. I suppose that because I have one that’s 14, whom I can look at and say ‘no, no, no….that is not going to happen…abort’ and he will look back at me with a, very likely, annoyed stare down while he stops what he is doing. And I have one that is 17 whom we are trying to ‘prepare for life in the real world,’ yet keep running into common sense (well, lack of) born road blocks. Step in or no? Honestly, it sometimes feels like I’m standing by my own burning house with a hose at the ready and being encouraged to just ‘let it happen.’ How far off track do you let them wander?
And why are men so much better at just ‘letting it happen?’ My sweet husband, who I love dearly while also wanting to toss out the window, is all about ‘natural consequences.’ I get it, buddy. It takes the pressure or responsibility off of having to dole out any unnatural consequences yourself. That is like a parenting utopia. And I do like them – or have come to like them, these answers from karma, when they actually happen. But, what I’m finding in this whole parenting of a young adult, is that the natural consequences don’t stop at our station very often. We stand there (the parents), looking down the tracks, watching the Natural Consequences Express zipping its way to our stop. We get a little gleeful and giddy – it’s happening, yes! And we didn’t have to be the bad guys! Tee hee!! And then our hair blows back and our heads snap as it speeds right through, only to be followed by a slow moving child with a very smug, satisfaction filled face. Oh good. So you learned nothing at all.
My least favorite part about Mom Vision is the seeing of everything that needs to be done around the house. It completely takes away my ability to relax and often makes me wonder if I’ve opened a home for the blind. Am I only here to note the pile of leaves in the middle of the kitchen that clearly need to be swept up? Is my one purpose to monitor the level of the cat food bowls? No one else notices the inches of dog snot on the front window or the air intake hiding behind a quarter inch of dust or the vacuum still sitting on the upstairs landing or the sweater that’s been air drying for a month or slippery oil spot in the garage or that we used the last toothpaste or or or or, well, yeah, ladies, you get me. And I am here for you. It’s why we can’t just sit down and relax, right?
One of my favorite mom vision items is the eyes in the back of my head. I really never believed that was true the 172 times my mom indicated that she had them. Yet, yes, they have been installed. It’s a weird thing that involves a bit of a stomach lurch – very small, just enough to say ‘alert…you’re up.’ When I first acquired it, I had to turn all the way to face the guilty child, scan them up and down to assess what it was that they were doing and what it was that was wrong about the situation. As I’ve groomed it over the past six years, I’ve lost the need to even turn around, scan anything or even stop. It happened just a few weeks ago in Kohls – the dream store of every child. Zack was following behind me, done, after being in an actual store for thirty seconds and we were conversing through the cattle shoot to the check outs. I registered a very terse change of tone and announced mid-forward-facing-stride, ‘Zack, if you roll your eyes like that again, that phone is mine.’ The sweet woman scanning my items looked at me knowingly with a quick ‘mmm-hmm’ and a nod of the head.
Yeah, me too, Kohls lady. I’ll just take these fresh socks for the boy. And also a cowbell.
Total 2020 Resolutions Side Note: All three of my plants are still alive. Jewelry just got out of the super sonic cleaner (or whatever it’s called). And I’ve been taught to have an auto-back-up on my laptop. Going strong.