Car chats – Part I
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 ….?!!!
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?