I don’t believe that there is a single parent alive that has never used this phrase! As a child every time I was caught doing something that I shouldn’t be doing, my mother would tell me…”I know everything you do…I’ve got eyes in the back of my head.” Right after the swift cuff to the back of mine! Ahhhhhh grasshopper!!!
I spent my entire childhood trying to see those eyes, but we’re always covered by her hair.
Eyes in the back of your head can give you great insight into what is yet to come. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much I use this concept in my daily life. Mom used her “back-eyes” to catch me while I was up to no good! I use the eyes to make sure that the “no good” doesn’t happen.
I think it actually saved my life a couple of weeks ago………..
Driving the highway with two friends in the car…cut to the 401, heading south, heavy traffic. My eyes are constantly shifting. Right mirror…left mirror…rear-view (eyes in the back of my head) mirror…until my eyes lock onto the rearview! What I see takes me only seconds to process. BIG red truck, flying onto the 401 from an on-ramp. Dude ain’t paying attention!!! Big red slams into the car in front of him…car loses breaks on impact, and is now hurdling at high speed towards us! The only thing between that car and a 30 car pile-up, is ME….getting out of his way. I grab the wheel and turn quickly…a hard left, onto the shoulder of the highway. As luck would have it…so does the car now on my tail! The rest of the story you can imagine.
So in the end, those “back-eyes” prevented what potentially could have been a brutal accident. No one was hurt. The car sustained a great amount of damage. But, we are all alive and well to tell the story. Those eyes came in mighty handy!
I think we earn these “eyes in the back of my head” with age and life experience. Those of us with children can vouch for this! We have the privilege of drawing upon the great insight “the eyes” afford us.
Oh yes….I can see the faces my kids are making behind my back, after one of those “I told you so” moments! And I already know what is most definitely going to happen if my kid is peeling an apple… like an old man on a front porch, whittling a stick! He has the scars on his fingers to prove it! But these are the life lessons that plant the seeds in the back of your head….that will one day, grow into a set of eyes!
I try to put these eyes to good use in my work as well. While I am taking a client’s design from paper to landscape, my brain is in a constant state of “seeing a step ahead”. I must be able to play out what needs to happen in the second phase of a construction, while the first phase is being completed, and the third phase is yet to happen…..How , both “before” and “after”, might affect each other.
My advice is to make sure that any landscape designer you employ has the ability to do this. It’s crucial to the cohesiveness of your plan. So I say, let’s embrace our eyes! All of them- the ones we see with, our “third eye”, and the ever mysterious “eyes in the back of our head”. They worked well for our mothers!
So if you’re standing behind your designer, and they know that you are making faces….Hire them!