You know, when you have kids, you start to realize all your parents went through, and that they were a lot smarter than you gave them credit for when you were a kid. I have apologized so many times to my parents for anything and everything I did when I was a kid (well, the stuff they knew about, anyways!) since having my three. It’s all in the perspective.
Driving 16 hours with three kids, much of which is in the middle of CA and nothing around, you try to find what you can to entertain the munchkins, as well as yourself. Every little thing on the side of the road becomes something of excitement. Ethan is still discovering this world, so cows, horses, trucks, birds, and windmills were enough to entertain. I found myself pointing them out frequently on the rides there and home again. Nothing new….I guess a lot of parents do this. Pretty normal. We have a family of bunny rabbits that live right outside of the gate to our neighborhood….the kids get really excited if the bunnies are out when we come into or leave the gate. I’m always checking to see if the bunnies are there to tell the kids. Again, I guess this isn’t anything new in parenting.
One of my most embarassing moments as a pre-teen was coming home from a music thing (I played the clarinet in orchestra from 6 – 12th grades), and the boy I’d had the hugest crush on from 5th grade on was getting a ride home with us. As we drove down the highway, my mom, being a mom, piped up with “Look! There’s cows!!!” The boy just looked at my mom, then looked at me, and said nothing the rest of the way home. I was mortified. Who cared about cows on the side of the road? I was so mad at her for so long for making me look like an idiot who would care about cows in front of this boy! Mortification stayed with me for a long time. It wasn’t like I was five or something. AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
As we flew down the highway on Monday, we saw lots and lots of cows. And I pointed them out to the kids every time. Given my children are 5 and under, it wasn’t the same as my most embarassing moment, but as I said “Look, cows!” when all three kids happened to be asleep, it dawned on me….My mom didn’t say that on that fateful trip to embarass me, she was being a mom. I think it is a mom’s reflex to tell her kids about animals along the road, whether the kids are awake, or even there. I’ve seen those bunnies a few times when the kids were not even in the car, and still said out loud “oh, there’s the bunny rabbits” to no one in particular, then realized what an idiot I was. Mom Reflex. At least I know I’m not alone……One day, my friend Jen and I were taking some Mommy Alone time. Those bunny rabbits were there in the grass near the gate, and she told me “oh, there’s the bunny rabbits!” I just looked at her, and then we both started cracking up. Not a single kid in the car.
The next time you point out animals or other “interesting things” on the side of the road to your kids (or yourself, your hubby, or your best friend), think about it….Mom Reflex.