I don’t mind driving my kids all over the St. Louis metropolitan area (and I do mean ALL OVER the St. Louis metro area) to take them to and from their various activities. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t always relish the opportunity to drive 40+ minutes away from home to sit in a cold waiting area and try to pretend like all of the other parents don’t exist for two hours straight. Not hardly. What makes the trips worthwhile for me are the conversations I get to have with TG and TB during the commutes.
I don’t know what it is about the inability to have a face-to-face conversation that makes my kids open up, but something about it often (but sadly, not often enough) prompts my children to let down their teen and tween defenses and give me glimpses into their lives.
Our topics of conversation vary widely, ranging from music to silly Youtube videos to sex and contraceptives to friendships to marriage, as well as to my inability to dab on my haters correctly. For some reason TG insists that I just can’t get that right. Actually, I’m not surprised. I simply can’t wrap my mind around the concept. Why would I perform a dance move for my haters, when it would be so much more effective to just ignore them? The children haven’t explained that to my satisfaction yet, but we have more car rides in our future, so it seems there’s still time.
But not enough time. Both TG and TB have announced they plan to get their drivers licenses as soon as they turn 16. In my home state of Oklahoma, that would seem like a lackluster announcement. Of course people get their drivers licenses as soon as they turn 16. That’s not the case in the Lou, however. It is not uncommon for people here to wait until they’re in their 20s to get their drivers licenses. Or perhaps that’s a generational difference between my children and me and doesn’t have anything to do with location.
I don’t know.
What I do know is that before I know it, our car rides will dwindle, and I’ll have to find a new way to connect with my kids.
But for now, I’ll embrace our travel time for the gift it is.