In addition to influencing your kids as they grow up, one of the interesting things about motherhood is that you get to hear, on a regular basis, pearls of wisdom, as well as just plain funny interpretations of things that, as adults, we take for granted. Here are two of my favorites.
When the boys were young, they loved to visit with their older, twenty-something cousins, who would keep the kids entertained with an ongoing, serialized saga of adventure, made up on the spot – “The Blue-Feather Bandit” stories. The Angler and Rock Star would want to spend every waking moment with their cousins, and were disappointed when the girls were engaged in their own adult activities.
One day, the boys were up early, running around doing whatever it is that kids occupy their time with, and were anxious for the girls to get up and get on with the story-telling. My sister-in-law explained that the girls had been out late, and would likely sleep until lunchtime (a habit my kids are familiar with now!). Trying to make a connection with something the boys understood, Alice said, “They’re like owls – they like to stay up late at night, and sleep in the daytime.”
This didn’t have quite the effect on The Angler that their aunt was hoping for. Looking up earnestly, he asked, “You mean they go out hunting for their prey?”
In a manner of speaking, Angler…!
Rock Star was an early reader, probably the unwitting beneficiary of hanging around while I worked with his older brother on phonics and other reading skills. He was very curious, and in the way of lots of young kids, was like a sponge, soaking up all the info I could dish out, including slightly more advanced phonics concepts such as silent vowels.
One day when he was 3, during a trip to the local mall, I had him stand with his back up against the side of the car outside JC Penney while I folded up the stroller and put it in the trunk. Gazing up at the store front, he turned to me and asked, “Mom, are the J and C in Penney’s silent?”
Although the boys are both now young adults themselves, I still keep my ears open for these interesting observations, and was rewarded recently while touring southern France with Rock Star. As we exited the Palais des Papes in Avignon through a Disneyland-like souvenir shop that was brimming with plastic knights’ helmets and crossbows, princess dresses, and all manner of other kid eye candy, Rock Star turned to me. “Mom,” he said, “now I totally have sympathy with what it must have been like to parent me when I was little. I’d hate to have to drag a begging little kid through this shop.”
Truer words were never spoken.