Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Stop Looking At Me!

I often wonder what my kids look like when I'm not around. When they're with their friends, at the mall, in class, or like my son was last night - at a concert. I remember attending concerts when I was in high school. The primary goal was to look cool. Having fun, enjoying a private joke with friends, knowing the words to all the songs, screaming when my favorite song was played. In retrospect, I doubt that I looked cool. I've never been very adept at accomplishing cool. It probably came off more as shifty (looking around to make sure people are watching) or over-caffeinated (laughing hysterically at not-very-funny comments from friends). My kids seem much better at looking cool than I did - probably because they don't care what people think and they actually know the words to the songs.

Sometimes when I'm with my kids I just want to sit and stare at them. Partly because I still can't believe they're as old as they are and partly because I just want to watch them do things. This doesn't sit too well with them. "What are you looking at?" Followed by: "Mom, cut it out." Followed by: "Mom, I mean it...STOP LOOKING AT ME!" If I tell them I'm looking at them because I love them, this is immediately followed by the eye roll.

I understand their hesitation at wanting to be watched. I guess, from their perspective, it's sort of creepy. But one day they'll understand why I'm just amazed at how they've grown. I'm blown away by the fact that they have their own personal gestures, looks, vocabulary....things that I haven't taught them. It's like....they're actually living, breathing beings when I'm not around. When did that happen? When did they evolve from constantly following me into the bathroom to hardly being around at all and going to concerts ALONE?!

I know this will all backfire on me, this parental voyeurism. One day, years from now, when I'm a widow and I'm living with one of them (let's be honest, my husband does NOT eat well). I'll be sitting in a living room (I hope it's a nice one in a nice neighborhod) with my grandbabies running around and my mind and body won't be as sharp as they are now (well c'mon - they don't have far to go) and they will be worried that I'll fall or drop something or step on the dog or pee on their nice couch and I'll turn to them and shout: "STOP LOOKING AT ME!"


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