Jimmies, dropped in wanton abandon, stick to the knob of my car stereo. Evidence of debauchery, discovered by one of my discerning and disapproving children. From the backseat.
I am amused (and envious) of the ability of children to quickly assess their surroundings, process small details, and reach concrete, confident conclusions.
You, the reader, will wonder at my grudging admiration. You, the reader, are unable to appreciate the distracting and complex environment this child mentally waded through before discerning the minute difference of her surroundings.
Said evidence was present in a very large vehicle that has been neglected for at least a month.
Said evidence, in the front seats alone, shared space with a colorful array of mail on the dashboard, a console full of grubby change, lipstick, pens, ferry tickets, keys, iPod buds with tangled cords, sunglasses, a pair of earrings, an emery board, USB storage, a mouth guard, phone and charging cord, and garden clippers.
Said evidence had been present for less than 24 hours.
In the process of reaching our maturity, adults develop a significant survival skill. We shut things out. We become adept at dismissing unnecessary details in our immediate environment. Much like a computer, our brains have many programs running, and some must run in the background in a limited capacity. Subconsciously, the user relies upon a system admin. This admin arbitrarily culls out unnecessary information that would slow down necessary processes.
Children enjoy a freedom from the restraints of the system admin. The clarity, the razor-sharp senses aiding their abilities to assess their environment - it's a wondrous ability. On occasion I mourn its passing.
Yet, life is a trade-off, and one certainty assuages my envy of their mental clarity and capacity. Children cannot stop for an ice cream *just because they feel like it*.
For my darling daughters. Mummy loves you.