20 Jan
Posted in: parenting
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Watching My Unaware Children

black plastic frame glasses resting on a stand

I enjoy watching my kids interact with other people when they don’t know I’m there. I like to watch them on the playground at school or while they walk to the car at pickup time. I get to know them better when they don’t know I’m watching. It’s the fruits of my labor in action. I learn a lot listening to conversations between siblings as the voices float up from the basement.

Yesterday I stood outside the glass enclosure of a room at our optometrist’s office as our oldest tried his first pair of contact lenses. He didn’t know I was watching. The entire waiting room could have been watching, and he wouldn’t have noticed. He was engrossed.

He’s worn glasses for three years and been responsible with them. There have been a few mishaps, but nothing near what I feared. He’s asked for contacts for over a year. Junior high felt like a reasonable time for him to give it a shot, so we relented. If he could get the contacts in and out himself, he could wear them.

I’ll admit I didn’t think he’d take to it as easily as he has. It’s only been 24 hours, but it seems painless so far. I watched the optician patiently talk B through the contact placement process. He’s never been afraid to ask questions, and he had his fair share. Bless that woman and her ability to answer the same question asked three different ways. It took lots of attempts before B could get a contact to stay on his eye. Finally, his fists pumped  in the air, and he was whooping with excitement. One contact was in.

He looked behind him and found me standing there. His smile was classic ear-to-ear. He didn’t know I was in the office, yet he looked at me like he expected me to be there. His dad was the one who brought him to the appointment, and I showed up late. He told me later he knew I’d be there because I always seem to be there when it’s important. While that gave my ability to parent a boost of confidence, it also puts pressure on my future self. We’ll save that for another post. He called it “ninja mom skills.” I like to think it’s more like 007.

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