Something about riding in the car inspires all sorts of conversations and confessionals, doesn't it? A usually reticent boy will open up and relate detailed school interactions, thoughts about current events, intricacies of middle school social structure, plots of books, outlines of essays he's writing. The key is to remain mildly interested but not TOO interested if you know what I mean. Like most skittish creatures, middle school boys scamper away at the first hint of bright spotlight and inquiry.
Last week we were driving to scouts (or some other such thing) and a certain someone started describing how in one class his friends started dissing their parents, telling stories about how lame or clueless or (gulp) awful their parents are.
This should be interesting, I thought. Remember: skittish. Channel disinterest, disinterest, disinterest.
"Yeah, I couldn't really think of anything really. But finally I told everyone how you used to mix up my shorts with Maddy's when you folded laundry into piles."
Well, whew. Internal fist pump. Though I couldn't decide if he was trying to compliment me or clear his conscience!
I had to laugh. Don't get me wrong; there are tons of things he could have said about my cluelessness/bad parent moments. But as evidentiary exhibits of bad parents go, I'll take it. I love his rosy memory and am just thrilled that at least one of my kids doesn't have an encyclopedic memory of all of my less stellar moments. Because they're there. Oh, they're there. Just ask my other two.