Friday, January 31, 2014

Look At Me Now

In keeping up with the rest of the freezing Joneses, we scored three consecutive surprise snow days this week.  Or as my local friend taught me, "Sneaux Days."  Everything looks better in French.

Surprise Sneaux Days because A) It's Lousiana.  B) It never actually snowed. C) My husband got off work for two of them, also.

While the temperatures dove into the teens and most of what fell was ice, we hunkered down like happy mammals.  I baked, kids ate, Andy cooked, I ate.  Abby and Grayson swung from each other; all marmosets in a 71 degree jungle.  At night we got together with our buddies to play Dominoes, drink Sangria, and sing "Let It Go" dramatically during a bootleg version of Frozen.

Basically, the best week ever.

Except I realized my poor girl thinks I never look at her.

Abby is five now and she has no idea I spend all hours of all days in many years looking at her, at her brother, and then back at her to make sure she's still in fact not needing emergency services.

"Mommy, look at me!  Look here, Mommy.  Mommy, are you looking?" She asks while I couldn't be looking at her more lookingly.

"Abby.  Do you see where my face is pointing?  My eyes?  That I've been starting at only you since you were born.  Why do you think I'm not looking at you."

"Because I don't want you to look away."

Boom.  Damn you Generation ChronicOn.  We snuggle, huggle, wrestle, break out into percussive Katy Perry songs during dinner, and encourage sarcasm.  We fight, apologize, talk it out, shut it down, and discuss why our privates remain privately ours at all times.  We practice 911, vote for elections, and discuss whether or not heaven allows snakes and killer whales (no and yes).  We are the parents that never stop parenting. We are Generation ChronicOn.

It's mostly from watching The Cosby Show and Full House, I'm sure, but our generation of parents spends a boatload of time parenting their Keurigs off.

Not that ours didn't, mind you.  There was boatloads of parenting then, too.  Just in a Generation OldSkool way.  Times were different.  We were allowed to bike across a busy highway to our friend's house for (rum &) Coke in the 6th grade.  Our parents got home after us because they worked super long hours and there was no such thing as after school care.  Except After School Specials.  They were pretty decent babysitters for the latch-key generation.  And the first place we learned what happens when Brad kisses Mary with their mouths open.

All their Non-Hovering-Letting-Us-Walk-Three-Miles-To-7-11 was right on.  And we turned out batsh*t neurotic regardless amazing.

But every generation does it differently than the last.  If we didn't then kids nowadays would listen to Bob Dylan instead of Daft Punk and the 80s would've never made a resurgence in music and Target fashion.

Honestly, I think our generatoin of ChronicOn is a good one.   It's just M to the F exhausting.  Who can keep up with all the looking, painting, Play-Doh'ing, letter-sound establishing, Pinterest crafting (just kidding), soccering, GMO investigating, organic produce collecting, gymnastic schlepping, important small soul psyche building?

Not ChronicOn me.  I can't keep up.

And my kids know it.  Well, Grayson does now.  Abby will too, pretty soon.  Too soon.

Somewhere along the way she'll want to triple lutz, straddle split, somersault more for herself, her friends, a more revered adult... and less for her mom.  Pretty soon she won't want to sit in my lap while she watches Garfield, calling it "lasanza" instead of lasagna.  Pretty soon my kids won't rely on each other for repartee and bruising.  Pretty soon their friends will dictate their interests and Mommy will permanently become Mom Where's Your Purse.  Pretty soon my life won't be piggy backs, flag football practice, tiny glove sorting, and washing plates with sweet smiling frogs on them.  Too soon.

So when she asks me to, "Look here, Mommy, Mommy are you looking,"  You better know I and my B12 vitamins will be looking - memorizing - right at her to see what she so temporarily wants to show me.

I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Oh my babies.  I'm always looking.  Even when you're running in the opposite direction.  

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