Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Few Minutes With The Boys or Why I Like Talking to Teens So Much

Last night, a warm Saturday, I told my boys that they had a choice: they could work on their summer reading projects or they could go for a ride to the harbor with me. I hate to admit this, but it was a toss up.

But since my boys were read to prenatally, grew up in a book-stuffed house with almost no television interaction, had a mom who read to them as often as she fed them, they ditched the reading. (Have I mentioned before how upset I am that they don't read? Do I already know that is the perfect way to rebel against me -- like my strict vegan friend whose son now works at and dines at Burger King?) All right, I'll stop. Not for good, but for this one blog.

The catch was they had to go for the ride and not text or answer their phones. They had to actually sit in the car like it was... "1990 or something..." (as they put it). They didn't really talk to me. I asked a few questions and got responses like, "Huh?" - "Ya" - "Duuude" - what they did do was talk to each other, and then I remembered why I like talking to (or rather, listening to) teenagers so much. I asked them if they were going to join Pep band again this year. In case you don't know, (and I, who was gifted with the athletic ability of say, Woody Allen, never knew) Pep band is their school's band that plays the National Anthem and other songs to induce tribal unity at football games and the like.

"You know, Mom, they don't let us sit during the games," Philip said, "and I play the sousaphone which is just so cool."

"It is sort of cool," I said.

"Right, because it's one of the few instruments you can actually wear."

Christopher commented, "You can see the bell of Philip's sousaphone from across the field. And Pep band is like being a musical cheerleader."

Then they launched into a mini-tirade on all the stupid things they had noticed lately.

Christopher: "Who is that woman on t.v. who sells the sleep number beds? All it says under her name is that she is a bed owner. Who isn't a bed owner?"

Philip: "Why do they swab the prisoner's arm with alcohol before giving him the lethal injection? Why does it matter at that point?"

Christopher: "Why do they put prices on the dollar menu? If it's the dollar menu..."

They did have to take their phones out at the harbor, just to check their messages. But because they tolerate me, Christopher took one phone camera shot of me and Philip (yes, he's over six feet). I pretended that was the reason they had their phones out.

Still, I had them to myself for just a short time.


Marcia said...

Gorgeous picture! I have two grown sons (and a daughter), and growing up as a girly-girl in a female-dominant household, I thought guys were a foreign species. I got to know boys through having sons (more than through having a husband). I love their dialogue! They're right about all of that stuff.

Athletic ability of Woody Allen! LOL. Me too.

Anne Spollen said...

The bays around here are really spectacular. It almost makes up for not having a bookstore in town...

And that's what I love about teenspeak -- they notice details like younger kids, but they have articulation close to adult level.

Tabitha said...

That is a great picture. :)

I have two boys, but they just turned 3 and 5. A looong way to go yet. I also read to them prenatally, restrict television and such (they dont' know what a commercial is yet, or even a video game), and supplement with books. Right now, they love to read. I think my heart will break if they rebel by not reading...ugh!!

Mary Witzl said...

(Hey, I just met all of you guys on Marcia's blog!)

Woody Allen? You were a real jock compared to me! I got a D in P.E. one year, and honestly, I tried so hard.

Like Marcia, I grew up in an all-girl family, but now I have only daughters. Still, they come up with things like this all the time. My youngest once woke me up in the middle of the night to ask me if snakes have babies. You've got to love the way they think.

I believe in good nutrition and try to avoid refined sugars and fats. My girls horde candy in their rooms and delight in eating junk food. Go figure...

TerriRainer said...

My 12 year old son is only 3 inches shorter than I am now (I'm 5'8"). They grow way too fast, and way too big!

:) Terri