The things I forget

When I was younger, I worked for a blind man. I was his PA; I drove him to and from work, helped him with his filing and paperwork, and ran errands for him. It was a unique gig, to be sure – I spent most of my waking hours in close quarters with someone who could not see me. Which had an unexpected side effect: I would on occasion forget other people could see me. I’d be driving home, singing along with the radio and blowing off the stresses of the day (he was…not a very easy man to work for), and it would suddenly occur to me that I was visible to the other drivers on the road – something I’d never thought about before, because I’d taken it for granted.

A bizarre sensation.

Motherhood has a similar effect on me. I tend to be so focused on my kids that I forget about…well, everything else. Case in point:

On Mother’s Day, Kai and I made a quick Target run together. He napped all the way in, so he was rested and rarin’ to go on the way home. Which turned out to be a lot of fun, because we share similar tastes in music.

I started Spotify and cued up some Cary Brothers – “Ride” has been Kai’s jam since he was in utero. And he was all


And I was all


Okay, not really, because it’s a very mellow song. But I had the volume up and the sunroof open, and I was singing along at the top of my lungs.

Next, Matt Nathanson (“Gone”) came on


and Kai was really getting into it. Nodding his head and wagging his finger and bouncing up and down.


The Weepies, Sufjan Stevens, Chris Pureka. We were in the zone, I tell you.


It was doubly fun because his sister does not like this sort of music, and feels compelled to remind me of that fact loudly and often. She’d stayed behind with her grandparents this time, so we were free to crank up the tunes and really enjoy ourselves. And enjoy ourselves we did.

Occasionally he pointed at me and grinned


and I pointed back and gave him a wink.


Mommy-son bonding at its finest.

My playlist was on fire, and we were caught up in indie bliss


when a car, which had been following me for several stoplights, pulled up beside me. Orange. Sporty. The driver gave me one of these


and I realized he had not noticed the baby mirror strapped to the headrest behind my son. This guy thought all of the winking and pointing was for him.


That odd feeling returned – the realization that other people could see me. Because I’d been so wrapped up in my son, I forgot that the rest of the world existed.

Fortunately for me, the light chose just then to turn green. So I gave Sports Car Guy one of these


and sped off.

I guess I ought to look up from my kids every now and then.


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