Car chats – Part I

On the road again...

I spend a lot of time in my car. 

Not just because I drive to and from work, but also because I drive to and from hockey – A LOT of hockey.  These days, these car rides provide an opportunity for peace and quiet as my teenagers plug in and tune out (a fine legacy of Steve Jobs, I might add).  My two teenage boys are generally a quiet pair these days anyway as convo with their mother is not a cool way to spend their time. No matter, I think to myself, I got my coffee, I got my own own music, don’t worry be happy, right? My 11-year old daughter is still the chatty Cathy (and her name’s not Cathy by the way, I think it’s Linda Blair or something like that).

Anywho, once in a blue moon I am enlightened by my kids.  Here’s what I mean:

On a 4-hour trip from Ottawa to Toronto for a tournament, my oldest son spoke precisely six words to me.  And what were those six words? “That was a really good book!”  I know! I couldn’t believe it either, since I was convinced the only thing he could read started with the words , “In sports news today …” Ah, hope springs eternal with a sprinkle of creativity: I had secretly downloaded S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” audiobook onto his iPod before leaving on our epicly quiet hockey road trip .  He actually noticed it there and listened to it. Not being a particularly avid readers, I am constantly looking for sneaky little ways to talk book talk with my boys.  He loved it. What I didn’t even realize, however, was they were studying this book at school and he was a little behind in his reading. The audiobook had saved his hide for English class on Monday.  Hope they have one of these for Twelfth Night…

I prefer to live with PonyBoy tuff talk for a while.

Upon being eliminated from an entirely different Toronto tournament, I took my middle guy downtown to see the King Tutankhamun on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario a while back.  I had somehow missed his transition from dinosaur boy to full-blown Egyptologist, and instead of listening to Eminem or Skrillex all the way home, I got 4 hours of the life and times of Howard Carter and the various conspiracy theories surrounding King Tut’s death. Not sure which is worse. He didn’t even laugh at my Steve Martin version, either. Sheesh!

But I can live with an Egyptologist for a while.

More recently, on our car ride home from our Cornwall tournament, my daughter and I were blasting out Adele, Katy Perry (a little slack here please; her team nickname is The Fireworks, after all), and even the Bieb. Shortly after belting out a Carrie Underwood favourite, I asked her, “So, if a boy ever cheats on you, you’re totally dumping him, right?” She still young, so I am still privy to some of her innermost secrets (aka, the latest crush).

“Totally!” was her response, “and I’d also send him a harshly worded letter too”.   

A harshly worded letter? What the ….?!!!

Who says that about a rotten boyfriend, anyway … Jane Austen? Kate Middleton?

I’m not sure I could live with this.  I invited her to consider taking a more assertive approach and maybe ‘take a Louisville slugger to both headlights’ or some other form of public ridicule but she said “Wouldn’t I get in trouble  for that?” Anti-bullying week and all, y’know.

I told her perhaps that just this once it would be worth it. 

What pivotal or riveting car conversations have you had recently?

8 Responses to Yakkety Yak – Please Talk Back!

  • I think that is terrific that your kids are reading…or listening to audio books…and sometimes talking. I hate spending a lot of time in the car so it might be a form of hell for me. You are a very nice mother! I do remember driving my kids to school in the morning and being privy to some wild conversations. I learned a lot on those trips! Thanks for the fun post.

    • My kids take the bus to school and it’s amazing the things (language) they pick up on the bus! My husband has often joked that his memoir will be titled, Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned on the Schoolbus! Thanks for reading!

  • Oh Ponyboy! I loved that book. Stay gold Astra, stay gold!
    (loved the post too)

  • I know Em have belted out a few ‘Avrils” in her day…. and they whole ‘boy story’ thing has been captured so well with TSwift….she’ll know how to sock ’em when/if they do her wrong 🙂 Books whether read or listened to are always magical…… I still remember the coolness of Ponyboy….a . true. classic. *sigh*

  • I love this on so many levels. First, I love that your son loved The Outsiders. As an English teacher who taught it to her sophomores, it’s excellent to hear riveting reviews (most boys do love it, by the way, which is music to my ears, I tell you.) Secondly, I love that your son expounded on King Tut the whole drive. Priceless. And I’m very sorry you had to discuss Katy Perry and Bieber. My condolences.

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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