At the end of every school day I would ask my 11 year old “how was your day?”, and the response was always the same ”Okay”, or “Good”, but nothing more forthcoming. Until I read a parenting article that spoke of asking questions like “What was your favorite class today”, or “What made you smile/laugh today”.
So last Friday our conversation went like this:
Me: Who do you sit with at lunch? (Thinking I’d hear some names I could talk to him about later)
Him: Since we have a short lunch period I go through the line and I sit at a table and I start to eat and people come sit with me.
Me: Do you end up eating alone?
Him: No, we grab our food, sit down, eat, talk, and go back to class.
Me: So your close friends don’t save you a seat, and you don’t save one for them-you just all sit together?
Him: We’re all friends and we all sit together, eat together, have class together-I’m friends with all of them, so I just eat and someone will come sit next to me and I’ll talk to them. Why worry over who sits with who, just sit and eat, listen and talk.
This exchange started me thinking about how I interact with friends, acquaintances, and the general public when I am out and about in the world. I try to be friendly, encouraging, and engaging. But am I as open and carefree as my son? I’d like to think I am, but as I perused Facebook later that night I had to restrain myself multiple times from commenting or blocking other users.
I’ve taught my child many lessons, but this time I think he’s educated me. What if all of us were so available, accepting, and had less worries about those around us? I wonder what kind of world it would be if we all just sat at the table to eat, listen, and talk? (And if you sit next to me, of course, I will be chatting your ear off about my son and Auto-Out!).