Friday, October 24, 2008

tunnel vision

Meet Molly's nemesis. The tunnel slide.

More specifically, the tunnel slide at Chick Fila. You see, Molly has not ALWAYS had a fear of enclosed slides. Her true emergence of phobia dates back to earlier this summer when she had an unfortunate "tumble" down the slide. Well, Today Molly's phobia was conquered. We went to Chick fila with our friends the Millers (non-relative). I went to go buy chocolate milk at the register and I turned around to see Molly at the bottom of the slide with the smile the size of Kansas on her face. (it was that big.) Who knew that chick fila could be so much fun?

Which gets me to tunnel vision. When your child is up in the tunnel above you it is impossible to decipher facial expressions. You really can't see body posture. All you really have to work with is a shadow. But what a telling shadow it could be. It is one step better than mommy vision I think. For example...

When I looked up to see two shadow feet jumping up and down and moving back and forth I knew that there was some tunnel dancing going on. When I saw two tunnel shadows crawl over a non moving shadow I knew that there was tunnel takeover. When I saw a very recognizable small little tunnel shadow at the back edge of the tunnel hunched over and extremely quiet I knew why. This, of course, was a tunnel poopie. My little tunnel shadow cast no "shadow" of a doubt when she announced the mission's completion. So... tunnel shadow maybe ready for the tunnel slide...but not quite ready for Elmo panties at chick fila. Praise the lord it was a pull-up day.

Throughout the remainder of the day I have given a lot of thought to my concept of "tunnel vision" and how prevalent it is in everyday life. There have been many moments in life where I have not been able to see all parts but have been forced to make a decision for the betterment of the whole. In times like this we have to rely on our own tunnel vision to determine the safest option available - even if we are just following little shadow footsteps. In many ways, the elections are this way. Candidates, campaigns and media all portray specific vantage points of a president but you never really get to see the whole picture before you. Just a shadow and the dream of what it can represent. When working with a child you are never quite certain of the challenges that lie ahead... you just know that they will be there...little shadows... that you will help them to overcome. You look and prepare for that which can't truly be seen.

I guess it just sometimes takes a "scary" piece of playground equipment to help you to see things a little more clearly.

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