Friday, May 9, 2008

Double Vision

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have eyes in the back of their heads and those who don't.

All mothers, of course, develop these bonus oculi, giving them a kind of hypervisionI'm sure it's an evolutionary development, essential for the survival of the species. No doubt it has saved many many a child from running into the street, falling from a precarious perch or touching a hot stove.

My children are continually astounded when, without turning from the task at hand, I say "Put that down," or "Do not touch her" or "I said one cookie." My middle boy, the fact-finder, frequently tries to investigate: "I want to see those eyes in the back of your head. How could they see through all that hair?"

Call it a sixth sense. Call it a superpower. I prefer to call it by its scientific name (coined by me) — binocular fusion squared, or BF2Human eyes work using a process known as binocular fusion, by which we perceive a single, three dimensional image through the separate images captured by each eye. In mothers, this phenomenon is amplified by a kind of built-in rearview mirror.

How else would it be possible for me to look at my children and see them objectively in terms of relative beauty (the slightly crooked front teeth, the persistent patch of eczema, the pubescent near-unibrow), yet still know that each one wears the most pulchritudinous punim in the history of human faces?

Without maternal parallax, how could I watch my boy trip over his own two feet on the soccer field, yet still know that he's the greatest athlete of all time?

If it weren't for such disambiguation, how could my own mother watch me throw a temper tantrum over my child's temper tantrum, yet still be able to assure me that I have the patience of Job.

This Mother's Day, may you feel protected by the hawk eyes of a vigilant mother, and may you see the world through the generous eyes of a loving one.

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Anonymous said...

We all learn to use the eyes on the back of our heads from "Mean Mom School" I thought I saw you teaching that class. Will we need bifocals for those back head eyes too? How about 360 vision? Remember it's the ability to sense an airborne object headed straight for your face. I think we discovered during soccer season.

Anonymous said...

Were you talking about me tripping on my own feet? Grrrr...
And exactly how long does it take you to "develope" these eyes?

It was a great thing to talk about though, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day


Susan Bearman said...

Don't be silly — I would never say that you trip over your own two feet. You are, of course, the greatest athlete alive. Mother's develop bonus oculi as soon as they become mothers. It's instantaneous, but the vision continues to sharpen throughout the rest of our lives.