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Keep your eyes peeled

For many, many years when we’d take a family drive, I'd say to my daughter, “keep your eyes peeled for the fire truck or the next McDonald's" to keep her engaged and finding landmarks along the way.

I’ll never forget the day my daughter actually understood the meaning of 'keep your eyes peeled'. She finally connected the saying with peeling a banana and she laughed and laughed. She thought that was the funniest thing she’d ever heard. For months I’d say to her ‘keep your eyes peeled’ and she’d laugh out loud every time. Now, as a teenager, and with the typical teenage annoyance, she says, “I know Mom, keep my eyes peeled.”

As anyone who has raised a teen or has been been around one, you know the tone. You are familiar with the ‘I know’ response to advice, suggestions or reminders. I call this the teenage time of ‘knowing’. They believe they know and the ‘I know Mom’ followed by a roll of the eyes is a frequent occurrence. They think they know it all.

I often wonder if hearing a reminder all the time equates to not really hearing it. Does hearing ‘keep your eyes peeled’ from Mom become just a saying and it’s not heard or registered any longer?

Are adults any different? We know we need to keep OUR eyes peeled, stay present and not get lost in our thoughts or hand-held devices. I know you've heard that before. Yet, I see this often and I must confess I’ve been there as well. Being engrossed in finding that online coupon sitting in the store parking lot or waiting until reaching the car to start digging for the keys. Guilty.

In the animal world, the herd is pruned by the weakest, slowest or less vigilant. Similarly, the bad guys are also predators and use the same ‘capture’ considerations. They will find someone vulnerable and strike. Especially at this time of year, It’s the time to be vigilant, make sure you are aware of those around you, look people in the eye and REMEMBER to ‘keep your eyes peeled!’

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