The best talks with the kids seem to be when we aren’t face to face. Car rides and long walks bring out the chattiness in my kids. I suspect there’s less pressure on them when we’re side by side, or perhaps these are just times where there are fewer interruptions.
I don’t know why they talk when they do, but I’m smart enough to listen.
Last night I was able to secure 20 minutes alone in the car with Jane. Jane is pretty tight lipped without being particularly secretive but when she wants to talk to you it sounds like this.
And you might sit in the car for twenty minutes while only nodding a few times, wishing you could take notes because the cast of characters is ever evolving and you don’t want your first born to think that you don’t love her enough to know who all her friends are. You also marvel at how long she can talk without needing to breathe.
She finally told me about the dance. Mind you this was the Halloween Dance, but I did get a few words about slow dancing and who knows how to and who doesn’t. The fact that the boys want their pants to sag like gansta’s (difficult and moderately amusing in a school uniform), the fact that they puff their boxers out and the logic that no one should slow dance with them because all this fussing with their pants makes touching their hands “disgusting”.
Jane’s volleyball club has brought her back to girls that she hasn’t seen since second grade and facebook makes catching up all that much easier. She’s a generous child and told me all the ways her teammates are talented, beautiful and successful. I love that about her. Jane is a lot like her father as they both have a sweet ability to focus on people’s strengths.
Today I’ll have a car full of kids and a very typical afternoon of homework, friends, dinner and family time. I’m considering carving out a car ride for Alexander so that we can catch up too.