For years I thrived on articles mothers wrote about their experiences. I read them all -- sagas of sibling rivalry, recipes for toilet-training, horror tales of disobedience, close analyses of eating habits. There wasn't and anecdote I couldn't relate to -- or felt certain I would relate to shortly.
But one day it happened. I read a title which left me unmoved, devoid of interest. A few days later the same thing occurred again. Whether a dilemma of diapering or a report of reading readiness, I passed all the old spellbinders by without a twinge of conscience. I read less and enjoyed it more.
About this same time the eyes in the back of my head disappeared. Gone. Those eyes that allowed me to know when the two-year- old behind my back was nibbling a silent bit out of each apple in the bag. The eyes that detected the tongue stuck out at me after a verym serious discussion.
The appropriate number of years has passed for both generations, and some carefully-wrought plan has removed me as a primary source of information about my children. I am no longer required to be privy to all my children's activities. They can breathe in and out without my monitoring. They decide what to wear lacking my blessing. They talk to people I have never met and never shall.
Clearly, this indicates an untying of the apron strings and I say, "It's about time!" I'm ready for the role reversal, for someone monitoring mem for a change. There are glimmers that it has begun.
Not long ago, one suddenly teen-aged son and I were shopping in the supermarket, he pushing, I scanning. As I wandered between beans and bagels I began whistling along with the piped-in music. I felt a shoulder nudge mine, a whish of air on my cheek.
"Mom! Mom!" hissed a voice. I stared at my son. "don't whistle," he begged.
Another time I delivered my daughter to the high school and prepared to walk in with her. As we approached the entrance she ordered, "Take off your hat."
Again I stared. Dead winter and requested to take my warmest hat off?m The one which simulates Snooply stalking the Red Baron? How could I obey such a mandate?
"Now hurry!m Take it off!"
Not son No. 2 also?
"Yes?" I answered my other son as I picked him up from basketball practice.
"Mom, umm, don't turn too fast in the parking lot."
"Umm, you squealed the tires last time."
Is it possible that my teenagers have access to a series of articles penned about mothers and fathers? Such tantalizing titles as:
"How to Curb Extrovert Parents"
"How to Know When It's Necessary to Nag Mom and Dad"
"Diverting Parents from Overzealous Clock-watching"
Happy reading, kids. Personally, I'm back to novels and home improvement tom es.