When Everybody's Looking

 

You now how kids do that cute and totally obvious Turn On The Charm thing when they realize they have An Audience? Like this morning when Buttercup and I were sitting in the waiting room at the lab for my blood draw on Dr. Naturopath's orders and she got all snuggly and I Love You Mom and Kissy Kissy and Sideways Looks and Silly Grins after noticing smiling strangers noticing her?

Sure, she loves me. Sure, she does that stuff when no one's looking.

But she cranks the volume a bit on the charm factor when she feels the need to perform. I don't make a big deal about it. Little girl is and always has been a bit of a drama princess, so I just snuggle closer, let her kiss and hug and I Love You to her heart's content, knowing full well she's going to go back to pretending to read the magazine she stopped pretending to read when the curtains went up announcing the beginning of her act as soon as the interesting kind strangers she's hamming it up for pick up a magazine of their own.

It wasn't until I logged on to my blog just to see what my stats were for the third time today and refreshed my email again and again and again with the hopes of a notification of a comment on whatever post it was that I had imagined might be the one Not Just I thought was Funny or Insightful or So Wonderfully Written that Someone Else would make it their mission to share it with the world that it occurred to me that I have been...acting.

Just like my daughter and her never-ending supply of affection she loves to show me whether or not anyone is looking that is only exaggerated when she realizes that someone actually is, I write because it's who I am and I'm going to write whether or not anyone is reading, except that when I realize people are reading I might Force the Funny a bit more than necessary or self-edit something out of a post I wouldn't have even thought about before because I know you are there.

I used to write stuff like this and this and this. And I still do. The difference is that before I wrote for myself in the hopes of getting an audience. Now I write in the hopes of growing the one I have. I still write for myself, but somehow it seems different.

I wonder if I'm trying too hard.

Then again, I might just be looking at this all wrong. Buttercup loves me no matter who is or isn't looking and I write no matter who is or isn't reading. The difference is that she doesn't care either way.

And this is where I realize how smart my kid is.

As long as you don't make a big deal about it and just let me get this little bit of Cute and Totally Obvious Turn on the Charm out of my system, I promise to go back to pretending to read that magazine and making up stories just because I can.