(This is a column that was censored by my publisher [the self-professed yella-dawg democrat] while I was editor for a small town paper. Seems it was too conservative for his tastes. It never saw print, so this is the first time for “publication.”)
I feel quite certain that anyone reading this has heard someone say that becoming a parent makes you see things differently, or that a parent sees the world with a different lens. I’m here to tell you it is true!
I’ve determined it is a scientific near-fact that when a person becomes a parent, there is a film on the back of the eyelids—sort of like the second lid that snakes have—which detaches and affixes itself to the eyeball. This is done while the new parent is asleep; else it might get very messy.
This second lid then dissolves slightly and soaks into the eyeball itself, forming a protective outer layer. In effect, it alters the “lens” of the eye and allows the new parent to see, almost quite literally through a new set of eyes.
Every human being is born with this inert eyelid film. But, it is only those who have successfully completed the process of pregnancy to the conclusion resulting in a tiny blob of flesh referred to as an infant.
I also feel certain that everyone reading this has heard a parent say, “just wait until you become a parent, you’ll see then.” This is usually voiced at some moment during which the parent considered our behavior inappropriate or when we complained the parent didn’t allow us to “do” anything. Our responses were generally something along the lines of it doesn’t matter whether we have a kid or not, we’ll allow our children to do the things we could not.
The problem, of course, is that this film or second lid is never discussed in science classes. It’s kept a secret and not even mentioned in the science books. Parents never tell you the film exists. Yes, they allude to the film almost always with the commonly used phrases “seeing with a different set of eyes,” or “seeing everything in a different way.” Why is it that they keep the eyelid film a secret?
Truth of the matter is that you do see things differently as a parent. I realize that I speak in generalities here, so you’ll have to accept that generality (or immediately move on to the next column), but parents tend to gravitate to the political right when babies are born. Something about those tiny cooing humans tend to make one become more conservative.
For instance: at one point earlier in my life, I was slightly opposed to the death sentence. At the time, I figured that we owed it to society to try to rehabilitate those who go astray.
After my daughter was born (she is now 13), my reactions to criminals began to change. I noticed that when there was undeniable truth found regarding someone who had killed, and more specifically, who had harmed children, I was cheerleading for the death sentence.
Hang the man up by his family jewels who would dare harm an innocent child. Wet him down and attach tiny electrodes to those sensitive parts of his body and pump electricity through the man (and women too, for all the equal-righters—I just happen to think that men are probably the worse offenders in this area). I will gladly throw the switch.
Mind you, I want undeniable proof before doing such acts, but I want them done. Publicly would be nice, too. Let those who would consider such an act against children see what might happen to them if they commit such unacceptable deeds.
I, of course, am not intending this to be a “pro-death sentence” column, but simply one of a man who sees the world a little differently now that he has two children. The recent birth of a friend’s new baby reminded me of how helpless infants really are. Initially, babies can do little more than squirm—they do not even have the muscles developed to lift their tiny heads.
This eyelid film that I mentioned is on every human. It remains on the back of the eyelid and inert until such time as that person becomes a parent. It is triggered in the female by the completion of labor, and in the male with the cutting of the umbilical cord that attaches a new baby to its mother. (The adoption process also successfully mimics this.)
While none of this is scientifically proven, it is certainly a fact. Just ask any person who is a parent.