Mum's the Word

Sunsets and winning conversations

Posted: Aug. 31, 2017 12:01 am

I'm not sure I'm always winning at all the conversations that need to happen daily. Am I bestowing all the right information? Am I discerning what is necessary?

Some days I'm scrambling to get out all the words and address their questions in a comprehensible way, all while wondering if they are even listening.

Sometimes I'll catch myself making an excellent point or nailing the meaning of life with awesome deepness only to turn around and find out I'm delivering a monologue. They are long gone and don't even care that this is one of my better speeches on how to be a good person. I'd tell you what I said, but I've already forgotten. I'm sure it wasn't as good as I thought.

Sometimes it's the kids talking, though, when I'm just there as a sounding board, in which I find out the most about them and where we are internally.

Many times it's late nights when I'm so done with this parenting gig and they come forth to talk about the things that are really bothering them and ask me what I think. Other times it's on a long drive when I'm over-telling people to stop touching each other.

Such was the case recently on the way to a swim meet when my 9-year-old decided to pipe up.

He was staring out the window into a cornfield with the sun shining down on him and I'm in a trance from staring out the window at a country highway, when out of nowhere this conversation materializes:

Him: It's just like when you're talking to a good friend ... it's the same thing with God ... you know?

Me: You mean talking to God is just like talking to a good friend?

Him: Yeah.

Me: Totally! Do you talk to Him a lot?

Him: Oh yeah.

Me: That's awesome.

Him: You?

Me: Oh yeah.

And just like that we are back to our day. He swims at his swim meet that night and beats all his times, but for me the real win will be that time we spent in the car and what he said. It wasn't the wordiest of conversations, but it was real and it was meaningful.

It's the kind of memory you stick in your pocket and pull out later to savor. You know, especially in the times when you want to scream at him for not being able to find his backpack.

We'll always have Paris ...

On the way home, he pipes up with, "I've got the perfect song to go with this sunset!"

Cue Frank Sinatra's "That's Life."

I know I'm biased, but as we stare out at the sunset, I can't help but feel this kid is winning at life.

Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.