While driving in to work this morning I was realizing I’ve experienced several different phases of close surveillance.
As a youngster, it was Santa: he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, yadda yadda. Earn valuable prizes yearly for obedience and self-control.
After that was busted open, I believed it was a Judeo-Christian God spying on me: watching me half-ass practicing piano; shaking his head as I talked back; possibly snorting at my lame church confessions (I couldn’t really keep track so I guessed based on what I figured most kids my age were doing wrong). But then I grew into an agnostic who has a sense that it’s unlikely anyone is keeping such a close tally and if they are, I find I don’t much care what their opinion is.
But now….now, it’s the scariest viewer of all. My kid. She doesn’t see everything, of course. But she sees plenty and she’s watching closely. For hypocrisy and discrepancy. For lessons. The biggest difference, and the scary bit, is that I didnt have to be held responsible for influencing Santa’s and God’s paths. They would not potentially base poor decisions or family negotiations on my actions.