Magic Eye ParentingPosted: 09/25/2014
I wasn’t a very confident child, but there was one thing I knew I was amazing at: I could unlock a Magic Eye painting in seconds. The random series of dots and waves quickly became a dog or a boat or the Eiffel Tower, I yelled it out, and I was queen for the day. I’ll let you take a moment to be wowed.
The early years of parenting are a lot like those paintings, though I’m horse-transport slow at unlocking the mysteries of the baby. And what’s worse, when everything is waves and dots, I tend to Google and freak out when the answer is usually: wait. Just wait and it’ll all become clear. It’ll work itself out. Weaning, for example. After wondering and searching and posting about how to do it, it’s happening pretty naturally. Food – kind of working itself out. Sleep – I know I’m lucky here, and please don’t throw tomatoes, but it’s also working at the moment. This will probably be the case for a few more days, and then everything will change again. A new, confusing painting will be up and I’ll be back on the Google train, wondering why he’s not saying words yet or why his left eye looks like that or…
When you become a parent, you join a community of people who have all gone through/are going through the same things, but not exactly. It’s the most universal individual experience I’ve encountered. And it’s helpful to remember that. Everyone has their own set of Magic Eye paintings.
(I’m sure the person who came up with those paintings knew they would be used as a metaphor in many of these “can’t-see-the-trees-for-the-forest” situations, but please excuse the tired use. I just wanted to remember how nice it felt to be really good at something.)