I am obsessed with hocus-focus. No, that’s not a typo. And I’m not talking about magic, or the dark arts, or any kind of voodoo witch doctor stuff. I’m talking about that comic in the daily newspaper. You know, the one with two identical pictures and you’re supposed to pick out the six differences between them. They’re made for like five-year-old kids, so that parents can say something like, “Here you go, Junior, take a look at these,” and buy themselves a few extra minutes of quiet morning java time.
But here’s the thing; I can’t do them. I’m serious. I’m lucky if I can find 2 or 3 differences. But six seems totally unreasonable. I mean, how are children supposed to figure these out? The weird part is that it’s always the same stuff, and I still can’t figure it out. There’s always a window that’s lowered by a millimeter, a woman’s hair is slightly shorter, a man’s polka-dotted tie turns to stripes. It’s really not so hard. So why am I blinded to these seemingly obvious differences?
I think there is something else going on here. Some kind of psychic rebellion, a repressed emotional resistance to noticing the blatant, the conspicuous, the glaring. Perhaps it’s just a trick being played upon my feeble psyche by Maternus, the omniscient goddess of all things maternal. Maybe she is mocking the fact that I meticulously note every out-of-place ringlet upon each of my children’s tossled tops and can’t help but comment on their faintly stained t-shirts and popsicle blue lips.
As a mother, I admit my compulsion to scrutinize every aspect of my kid’s personas. It’s like I’m unable to keep my eye on the bigger picture; my children’s kind hearts, their graceful spirits, their unending curiosities.
Maybe the message is to stop focusing on the minutia altogether. Because even when you do catch that missing bow-tie or slightly tilted picture frame, you still end up missing a whole bunch of other stuff and losing the game.
Hmmm…that’s a pretty lofty lesson coming from the daily funnies.