April 10, 2009

Common Threads

I took the kids to Six Flags yesterday. We were standing there eating our very expensive Pizza, as Six Flags truly has some of the most overpriced food of any theme park we have ever visited, when a little girl evidently fell and hit her face on something and was crying.

I missed the accident. I was busy, probably chiding my children over something.

She appeared to be about 8 or 9 years old. She was with her family and perhaps another as there appeared to be two mothers and the rest were kids.

And this is where it is rather funny.

The family was a black family. I had absolutely nothing in common with the mother, from first blush.

She was a big big woman, I’m not so big.

She spoke with the heavy accent of Southern African American combined with a slight touch of ebonics. My accent is slight touch of Gulf Coast southern for the most part spoken as it is taught in English class, mostly grammatically correct.

She walked with an effortlessness, very casual. There is nothing casual about how I carry myself. I am very deliberate, leading the way, snapping for the kids to keep up as we have things to do.

And then she said to her daughter, after they got the crying under control, in her heavy accent, “I know what happened to you! You weren’t paying attention to your surroundings! I tell you over and over, you have to pay attention to what’s going on around you!”

And with that, Mr. T grabbed my arm, blue eyes wide he said, “MOM! Did you hear that? Did you hear what she said to her daughter?”

I stared down at him and he continued, “She said, “You weren’t paying attention to your surroundings!” She told her, “I tell you over and over you have to pay attention to what’s going on around you!” You say that, Mom! She said what you ALWAYS say!!”

I laughed and said, “We’re Moms.”

He twittered off to tell Ringo of this odd phenomena.

Five minutes later, Ringo laughingly said to me, “I heard it too. That Mom told her daughter she needs to pay attention to her surroundings, the same thing you always tell us.”

I shook my head and said, “Son, all kids are alike. All of you live in your own little worlds and don’t pay attention, running into things, into people, all the time.”

From the outside, this Mom and I looked completely different, but Mommishness runs deep.

We were very much the same.

Posted by Boudicca at April 10, 2009 04:52 PM

Heck, I'm a dad and I say that to the boys all the time.

Posted by: Contagion at April 10, 2009 05:07 PM

Contagion- It is so a parenting thing. My kids are only alive because I am having to run interference for them against inanimate objects.

Posted by: Bou at April 10, 2009 05:36 PM

By and large kids are all the same: irresponsible and distracted. But some moms are better than others at pointing out how they should behave. You just happened to run into another good mom.

Posted by: Bob at April 10, 2009 11:52 PM

Probably one of the biggest frustrations I had with my kids was the fact that the world seemed to end just beyond their noses. I'm a firm believer of always being aware of your immediate surroundings.

Posted by: diamond dave at April 11, 2009 09:37 AM

That is the only good thing I can think of for those kids who grow up here in NYC. They have to always be aware if they want to survive. I didn't grow up here, praise the Lord, and I had to learn that in a hurry when I moved here at the age of 32.

Posted by: dick at April 11, 2009 10:04 AM

Momishness *does* run deep. :)

Posted by: Richmond at April 11, 2009 03:31 PM

ROFLMAO - OMG I think every parent says this, but especially moms the world over.

It's one of the reasons why I don't get annoyed if kids bump into me in a public place - as long as it isn't continuous. That's what kids do. If a kid doesn't do that - while I might say "wow - what a well behaved kid" I secretly worry about them. ;-)

Posted by: Teresa at April 12, 2009 11:12 AM