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I remember long drives as a child that I would spend talking at my mother. Telling her stories. Jabbering away. Reading to her. I ran my mouth a lot.
Now I’ve got my own (step) child and… Mom, if you read this, I’m so sorry. You were a great mom and now that I have a kid of my own I’m realizing that more than ever. I know you didn’t always care about or even understand what I was talking about, but you always made me feel like you did. And because of you, I’m doing the same with mine. I don’t always know what he’s talking about, but just like you, I will always listen.
I Don’t Always Know What My Kid Is Talking About, But I Will Always Listen
It started pretty early on in our guardian/child relationship. You see, my kiddo is autistic and for a while he had a speech impediment. Understanding him was tricky, but once you learned his language it was all good.
At least until I encountered his first obsession phase.
This isn’t even limited to autistic children. This is a global child thing. I can remember the hyper focus of my younger days. You know the one. Where a kid is so obsessed with a single topic that’s all they want to talk about.
With our kiddo it was fans. He’s always loved ceiling fans, box fans, any kind of fan. It’s led to us focusing on toys that teach him how to build his own. Awesome, right? He’s learning early mechanical lessons that might aid him in a future career.
And then… video games happened.
Now I swear every meal time he sits there while we stuff our face and performs a monologue about all things <insert whatever video game he’s currently obsessed with here>. Our kiddo might take it to a more intense level than other kids, but it’s not unique to him. A lot of kids do it.
There’s nothing that makes me feel older than smiling and nodding at my kiddo with no flipping clue what he’s talking about. And I’ve sat watching him play the video games before!
What I do love and think is enchanting is the single minded determination he has to share this joy with us. Yes, at times it might sound like a flood of stuff I don’t really care about, but I care about him. So I listen. I watch him play the game. And I will smile and nod like the best bobble head ever, because these years will pass us by and before I know it he’ll be grown up.