In an effort to get to know this teenager person my son has become I emailed him a list of questions that I found on a couple of different parenting sites that are supposed to help open up conversations with our teens. I know he is a lot like me when it comes to expressing his emotions verbally so I thought that writing would be easier for him, as it is for me.
After reminding him several times and fighting against some resistance on his part, he finally sat down on the couch and attempted to answer them last night and after much technical difficulty (why he insisted on using his iPod instead of the laptop is beyond me), the mission was accomplished.
Well, sort of.
I was not surprised by his answer to the question What do you think is the most important quality a person can have and why? which was 'funny'. I get that and that is exactly what I thought he'd say. Whenever I check out his facebook page, there is almost always a new post by someone (usually a girl) saying something about how funny he is or how he always makes her laugh in Social Studies, or how he can keep a straight face through anything. (And I like to tell myself he got all that from me)
He left a couple of the questions blank or answered them with 'idk' (I don't know) which was a little disappointing though not really surprising. He is a thirteen year old boy, after all. They aren't exactly known for their excellent communication skills or thoughtful ponderings on life.
He was sitting across from me in the living room when I was reading his answers so I kept catching myself giving him that sideways look and saying things like "Really, Devin? One of the words you used to describe yourself is 'Free'? 'In the USA'?" And he'd reply with, "Whut? I couldn't think of anything else to say."
Yeah, my goal was clearly not going to be accomplished within this email correspondence and as hard as I tried, when I got to number 7 (there were 10 questions), I could no longer hold together my serious-and-concerned-authoritative mom composure any longer. I lost it. With an out loud belly laugh as I read his answer aloud to Charlie.
The question was Is there something you wish I knew about you? and truthfully, it was the one I was most anticipating a serious answer for, thinking it would give me a better insight of the goings-on behind that stoicism, convinced that his river must surely run deeper than the Nile (he is my kid, after all).
Whether it does or not, I had clearly not used a long enough line because this is the answer I received:
I need some more socks.
I think Mr. Jimmy Buffet said it best...
"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."