We’re driving somewhere a couple weeks ago, all of us together, when there’s an NPR story about how parents are generally less happy than non-parents.
As usual, I’m daydreaming during most of the article until it dawns on me what they’re talking about and I look at Mike. He’s driving, and has probably been daydreaming too, and appears to be becoming aware of the subject matter at about the same time.
“Why do you want to go on exchange?” I ask my kid.
“Well, I like to travel, and I’m into learning new things.”
Good answer. Just the night before, Jack had told us he would be interested in going on exchange his junior year in high school. Now, I’m putting him through a mock interview.
We’re in McCall, the opening weekend of the little town’s winter carnival. Mike and I are part of a committee shepherding a gaggle of students in the Rotary exchange program. The group includes ‘inbound’ students from countries across the world, and soon to be ‘outbound’ students from counties across southern Idaho – sort of a foreign exchange cavalcade.
There are moments when I think Colin exhibits what I want to believe is latent cleverness beyond what he could have inherited from either of us. Other times I’m pretty sure his relentless questioning is actually a form of obsessive compulsivity that I’ve seen before (ahem, Mike). Since overt boasting about my kids isn’t really my style, I’m going to assume the later is the more likely possibility.