walmart, saturday mornings and the electric company

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My kids are watching the Electric Company. The Electric Company. And they’re quiet. It’s surreal and amazing and time travel all at once. It’s intense; watching your kids through your eyes and your parents eyes all at once. Because it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that I was engulfed on a giant couch, mesmerized by pseudo educational television on a Saturday morning, (okay, because that was only last weekend…but still).

There are so many random moments as a parent that are absolutely mind bending. And they’re not those spelling bee/Disneyland/once in a lifetime deals either. They’re those every day moments that you almost miss – but don’t.

Yesterday, I was sitting at the table, typing away, half listening to my girl child, when she told me she had a crush. Just like that. She’s seven. And she shared it like we were old friends, sitting over coffee. It took everything I had not to smile, because I was fervently trying to stay in this very cool, (albeit kind of frightening) moment. I don’t remember ever sharing like that with my parents. I was embarrassed of everything about myself, even at seven.

It was such an empowering moment as a parent to know that my child felt like she could share something so real with me. And at the same time, scary as hell. Because a second grade crush? So incredibly different from a first grade crush.

In first grade, M had a crush on this cute little prepster. He had gelled, parted hair, and he wore collar shirts. The reason she had a crush on said prepster? He had a handsome voice. Adorable, right? But zero cause for alarm.

Now, my girl child has shared with me that she is asking advice from her second grade girlfriends. I’m pretty sure I could not form a complete thought in second grade. If I was talking to my friends, it was about trading items in our lunch, or getting a new charm for our radical charm necklaces. I wasn’t asking advice about how to make a boy like me. It’s probably not a fair comparison; my first boyfriend was my SENIOR year of high school. I’m pretty sure I’m an anomaly. But still. This child is much more advanced than her mother.

So far, the advice has been to match her clothes better. Because I’m sure seven year old boys care very much about this. So this morning, when I handed her clothes for the day, she looked at me pityingly and asked if she could trade it for something that matched. Because apparently, I’m a 34 year old version of Punky Brewster. Wowza.

I remember people stopping me in Walmart with two crying babies, under the age of two. Don’t judge; we lived in a planned community in central Arizona, and there was nowhere else to shop. Apparently, I looked the way all newish mothers do. Frazzled, tired, and just begging for a chance to run far, far away. They all told me the same thing. That this moment would pass in the blink of an eye. That was when it felt like a day actually took 27 years to pass. I looked at them with scorn, because what did they know?

And now, here I am, listening about crushes and yoga, and how baths waste more water than showers.

Thank god for the Electric Company. I needed this breath of childhood. I’d give anything for a Walmart moment right about now, because lately, although amazing, these random moments feel like they’re flying right by.

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