Saturday, July 27, 2013

How Was Camp?

I asked my son this every day after I picked him up.  "Great!  Especially the playground!" he would say. I tried to probe further.  "What else did you do?"  I asked.  "Well, we had to sit on our colors for a long long time," he answered.  "While the teacher taught you things?" I asked to better understand the experience.  "I guess," he answered, "but the slide was awesome."

I got the same answers every day no matter how I phrased the questions.  I started wondering why it was so important to me to know and I realized it was the exact same feeling I get when my husband gets home from work.  I'll ask, "How was your day, babe?"  He will give me a quick, "Good.  Nothing special," then move on to making dinner or playing with the kids.  For years I would just stand there waiting for him to tell me the rest.  I would think, who did you see today?  What did you talk about?  What was frustrating?  What was invigorating?  Tell me more!

Interestingly enough, if I left him alone, the stories would start to flow.  He would be sautéing vegetables and suddenly say, "That call I had with a partner went really well."  And the conversation would commence in earnest.  This week, I learned that the same is true of my son.

The boys were in the bathtub chest deep in bubbles when my son decided to let me in on some details.  "I really loved the teachers at camp.  I told them I would miss them so much when the week was over," he shared.  This led to conversations about the activities and some things he would like to do during our school time.  "Would you like to do more art?" I asked him.  At camp, they had done an art project every day.  "Not really.  I'd rather just make up my own art," he shared.  "And I missed reading all our stories.  Can we read lots of stories tonight, Mommy?" he asked.  "Of course," I answered.  And in my heart, there was nothing I wanted to hear more.

After six years of marriage, I have learned that men connect by doing things together and women connect by sharing things with each other.  The same is true with my sons.  As much as I want every last detail, it can be like squeezing blood from a turnip.  If we just hang out, the stories start to flow and we can connect in a way that feels fulfilling to me.  But sometimes they just like to have you around.  Nothing less, nothing more.  And that's okay, too.

Do you find yourself hitting a wall when you probe the men in your life about their lives?  How do you find conversation opening up naturally?

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate to this post! With three males in the house I am always trying to get them to tell me things and have realized that my kids will tell me more when they are ready :)

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