One of the problems with living in the real world is that we spend our time too close with the people who are important to us – spouses, children, and friends. As such, we’re so close that we sometimes don’t notice things or if we do, we don’t realize how important they are.
My older son grew to over six foot tall in high school. I was buying his clothes – “Extra Extra Large”, “Tall” and very, very large shoes (size 14 and 15 – just slightly smaller than “Bozo”.)
However, even with all that, he was still my little boy It wasn’t until one Sunday at Mass when I turned to him and realized that my eyes were at the same level as his armpit that it actually registered that my child had grown up.
My younger kids hit different phases in which they suddenly make major progress in one area or another. Sometimes, I don’t notice. Hey, you’re talking to the dad who can buy size 15 shoes for his son and not realize that he’s grown.
My wife is the one that notices all these things and nudges me – “Have you noticed that Adam is doing so well at such and such?” “Isn’t Katie getting good at (fill in the blank)?”
Now, I like to think of myself as intelligent, and I’m actually not oblivious to the world around me. However, having said that, I know that I view the world differently than my wife does. I notice the funny noise when I drive her car and know it needs attention. I realize that the toilet is making an odd sound and needs a new flapper valve and fill mechanism. I do my part. Nevertheless, I miss a lot of important things that she points out to me.
The wonderful thing is that I can’t do her part and she doesn’t do mine. However, between the two of us we get pretty much all of it figured out.
It’s actually a great system.