Spiderman has “Spidey Sense” that tingles when something is wrong. Superman has super hearing that allows him to know when someone is in distress. Some moms have “Mom Radar”. This amazing “super-sense” tells them when their children are doing (or thinking of doing) something they shouldn’t, having a bad dream, are ill in the middle of the night and need comforting, are injured, upset, or otherwise in need. Sometimes it goes off and we aren’t sure why—only that something is not right with one of our children. (Often, we aren’t sure which one either!)
This is very handy when our children are young. It allows moms endowed with this wonderful ‘sixth sense’ to nip unsafe behavior in the bud before someone is seriously injured. (Like the time my older two boys tried to launch their baby brother, or the time they tried to feed the youngest one deer poop. They had him convinced it was chocolate covered raisins left by the Easter Bunny!) This amazing radar awakens us from a dead sleep to arrive in time to get a child to the bathroom when they are ill in the wee hours of the night, or to soothe a frightened youngster experiencing a bad dream.
As our youngsters grow, the radar goes off when they are telling a fib or plotting to do something they shouldn’t do. It goes off a lot when they are teenagers! We often don’t know why it is “pinging off the walls”, and we may not be sure which child is setting it off—but we know something is wrong and we are on high alert until the facts come to light. They always come to light—sometimes years later—but the truth always comes out. Many times, we figure it out, but allow our children to continue with their plans in order to allow them to learn the necessary lessons in life that will make them better people. Besides, sometimes it is nice to have some leverage—we might need it later for more important issues!
I am convinced this is how mothers got the reputation of ‘having eyes in the backs of their heads’. We simply know our own children so well, that we know when they are ‘off’—(or maybe it is that we know ourselves well enough to know what our children are likely up to at certain stages.) Whatever it is, it can drive our children crazy—a nice reversal for a change!
I always thought the ‘radar’ would diminish as our sons grew into adulthood---I was wrong. The other day, while sitting at a stop light on my way to work, I had the overwhelming sense that I needed to call my middle son (now 20 years old and in college in a different town) and wake him up so that he didn’t miss class. I ignored it, telling myself it was silly! The boy has been getting himself up to classes and work for several years without my assistance, there was no need for me to get my panties in a wad now! Later that day, he called and I asked how his day was.
“Ugh!” he responded.
“What happened?’ I asked, empathetically.
“I slept through my first class!” he groaned.
I should have listened to the ‘radar’. I called him the following day to make sure he didn’t miss class, though.
A few weeks later, I was awakened from a wonderful dream and a dead sleep with the overpowering sense that I needed to go to our office (in the basement), get on Skype, and talk to this same young man. I rolled over, looked at the clock, and groaned—it was 2:30 in the morning! I argued with myself telling myself this was stupid! If he was up at that hour on the computer, it was his problem, not mine! I attempted to go back to sleep, but the feeling was so persistent that I finally gave in. Grumbling to myself about my own idiocy, I tromped down the stairs, and clicked the Skype tab on my computer. Sure enough, there he was, online. I am not sure exactly what he ‘needed’ from me, but we talked via skype for quite awhile. Finally, he went to bed (or logged off at least), and I was able to snuggle back into my bed, safe and sound.
I should have known, or at least suspected this might happen. My mother’s “Mom Radar” is seldom wrong, and her mom (my grandmother) had such remarkable ‘radar’ that it worked with all of her children up until the time she died! I guess I should resign myself to the fact that I will seldom get a full night’s sleep--ever!
Tammy is a writer, storyteller, artist, crafter, and bellydancer who enjoys working with children of all ages. She lives in North Idaho with her wonderful husband, three sons, and a goofy dog. She teaches bellydancing, crochets, paints and sketches, and is trying to complete her first book when she isn’t at work or transporting her youngest son around town. She loves a good read, a good laugh, and life in general (especially when there are cookies involved!)