I spend a lot of time in my car, driving teenagers to school, to sports, to Boy Scouts, and back home from all of these things. Riding in the car has always been a great place to get my kids to talk to me. It is reasonably safe, emotionally, because I can't spend time analyzing their face as they talk, I'm watching the road. Eye contact is scary. So it has always been the place where my kids drop big bombs of information. And I consider myself lucky on that front. So I don't mind all the driving.
The extra teenager is warming up to this process, too. He's letting his guard down. He told me on the way home from his soccer game the other day that he likes knowing that I come to the game to watch him play, it makes him more comfortable. It was very sweet and vulnerable, and so earnest. So he's showing some emotional depth. He's also using cuss words.
Well, okay he didn't really know what he was saying. Monday morning we got in the car to drop him off at the high school, which is on my way to work. On Mondays it is just the two of us, because my oldest has band practice before school, and my husband manages the middle school route. My friend got into the passenger seat and said to me, "Can I put this shit in here?" He was holding some papers that were in the seat and gesturing toward the glove box. (Why is that even the name of it? Nevermind.)
Unsure if I heard him correctly, I asked him go repeat his question. Nope, I heard correctly.
"Do you know what that means, the word 'shit'?"
"It means papers."
"Well, no. Not really. It means poop."
"Yep. People sometimes use it to refer to stuff, like papers. But it is technically a bad word, a curse word. Not that I care if you say it, but you should not say it at school or to a teacher."
"Oh. Okay. So can I put this shit in there?"
"Yes. Yes you can."
I mean, he's 17, Not nine. He can say what he wants. He probably heard it from me in the first place.