If you’re a parent, you’ve probably thrown your kids the old line about having eyes in the back of your head. Despite the fact that it’s one of those sayings my parents used that I swore I’d never include in my own parental vocabulary (along with “because I said so” and “money doesn’t grow on trees”), I do indeed find myself dropping it every now and again.
“I have eyes in the back of my head,” I tell my kids either when I catch them doing something they shouldn’t be doing or when they’re about to step over the naughty line. It’s my way of saying I see everything. Nothing escapes me. I’m capable of anticipating the future. I know it all.
But, in reality, I don’t see everything. A whole lot escapes me. I’m nowhere close to being able to anticipate the future. And I most certainly do not know it all.
That’s why I love this quote from Ethan, a 7-year-old whose funny moment was included in the Baby Bloopers section of Parents magazine. After his mom accidentally backed into him, he told her,
"The eyes in the back of your head are probably still asleep."When it comes to certain aspects of military life, the eyes in the back of my head are definitely still asleep. And when they aren’t sleeping, they need a new pair of glasses because everything is still kind of blurry.
The eyes in the back of my head didn’t see it coming when my husband’s deployment got pushed up by 3 weeks.
They didn’t anticipate getting orders OCONUS.
They squeezed themselves shut when my best friend PCS’ed.
And they still don’t catch Murphy when his law steps over that line of naughtiness.
So yes, according to my children, I have eyes in the back of my head. But they aren’t always the source of infinite knowledge they’re supposed to be when it comes to military life.
I’ll never know it all. I’ll never be able to predict what’s coming. Military life will always keep me guessing. The eyes in the back of my head will be in a permanent coma, rendering this super power useless. And maybe that’s okay.
Just don’t tell my kids that.