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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

teach your children well...and don't judge

After a dose of winter precipitation one evening, I asked our teenage son how he had managed driving on the roads. My ice-induced maternal anxiety had subsided since he had made it home safely. I acted all chill as he responded with a story that made me wonder, "What else doesn't my kid know?"

Here's the scoop.

“Guess what?" Cole said with wide-eyed excitement. 

Oh no. Something happened. 

Then he said, "I have this thing where water comes up on my windshield. It's so cool.”

It's called wiper fluid, kid.

He went on to explain how he and a buddy were driving to the school when they met a semi who mucked up the windshield as semis tend to do. Cole panicked when his friend Conner told him just to use the wiper fluid. 

"Conner!" Cole emphatically replied. "My car is old! It doesn't have that.” 

Cole drives a 2010 Ford Fusion—a real junker with heated seats and a sunroof. Conner reached over and pushed the wiper fluid lever muttering something affectionate like, "You’re an idiot.”

Thanks to Conner's ingenuity and knowledge of basic car features, he saved the day by providing a clear view of the road. But I couldn't help but feel a tiny bit of a parental failure after hearing that story. What else doesn't Cole know?

A few days later, I told Conner’s dad the story because I thought it was amusing. He chuckled and said, “Well you know what? Conner just learned about windshield wiper fluid two weeks ago.”

Aha. They're still learning. It's easy to roll your eyes and judge your kid by what he or she doesn't know. But I think it's important to take a step back and consider how much there is to learn about this world. There's a lot to know! Heck, I just am now understanding a little bit about Watergate.

So when another windshield wiper moment occurs, ask your kid to give you a lesson in Snapchat. It'll remind you that perhaps you don't know everything either.

Just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.

1 comment:

Paul Heller said...

Nice article. Watch them all the time. Blogs like yours really make me miss my nephew... #andmakethemcry