As a mom, I'm aware of my own amazing mystical abilities within my family - the X-ray vision, the omniscient awareness, the keeper of insider information (like where we keep the oven mitts). But it took me a while to recognize my husband's magical powers.

The lightbulb moment for me occurred on a typical Saturday morning, with my husband downstairs watching a soccer game he'd recorded the night before. In the next room - and this is key - my two boys eat breakfast while discussing their daily "who-gets-to-play-video games-first" strategy.

Since I had just gotten out of the shower, I'm upstairs putting on make-up and blow-drying my hair. The second I turn the blow-dryer on, my younger son Parker pops his head into the bathroom.

"Mom?"

Blow-dryer off.

"What's up, Parker?" I ask.

"I did all my chores. Can I play video games?" he asks.

"Sounds good to me," I reply.

Parker dashes downstairs to turn on the PS4.

Blow-dryer on. Four seconds go by.

"Mom!" another voice beckons a bit frantically.

Blow-dryer off.

"What's up, Trevor?" I ask, already knowing where this conversation is going.

"That's not fair!" Trevor whines. "Why does Parker get to play video games first? I did all my chores, too."

"Well, I guess because he asked me first. Why didn't you just ask Dad? He's downstairs watching the soccer game."

"Oh, I didn't see him," Trevor replies.

Didn't see him, he says.

Didn't hear the TV blaring in the room right next to the kitchen where Trevor just came from.

Didn't notice Kevin yelling, "He was OFFSIDES!"

And that's when it hit me - Kevin was dressed in his Invisibility Cloak.

Over all those years, thousands upon thousands of times, when the boys ran to me for help or permission or protection (from each other), they sought me out - even though my husband was within arm's reach. Why? They simply didn't see him.

The Invisibility Cloak concealed my husband like Harry Potter trying to escape the clutches of Voldemort. It veiled him from the always-needing-me Muggles so they'd walk right past him in search of me.

Like having your sight restored after years of blindness, it all became so clear now. The verbal battles I refereed, the split-decision judgments I rendered, the permission-granting wishes I delivered like anticipated birthday gifts. All these requests from my kids occurred - not because I was their favorite parent, as I had begun to foolishly believe - but because of my husband's covert presence in the house. I had been duped by Dad's Magic.

Hold on a minute … those times when my husband claimed he "didn't notice" the laundry basket at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried up, the garbage bag waiting to be taken outside or the cat vomit waiting to be cleaned up, it wasn't the ol' Invisibility Cloak trick, was it?

Darn, my husband even used his magic on me. He's good.


Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist and copywriter. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Parents, Eating Well, USA Today Pet Guide and dozens more. Check out her writer's website at LisaBeachWrites.com.