Seventeen. Happy Birthday Davide. Part 2

Today I have a seventeen year old. Wow. Normally for me this would be a time for me to think about and wax nostalgically about what he was like at 2 and a half when we met (a cute story to be shared later), the early fatherhood years, watching him grow and how much harder the teen years have been for me than all the years that preceded them.

Maybe later today. Right now I am waxing nostalgically about yesterday. It was a coming of age day for all of us.

Yesterday the three of us drove 100 miles to go visit Marquette University with the idea of exposing Davide to a variety of schools. The campus visit was good in that we got a feel for the physical presence of MU, the academic opportunities and the pros and cons of being at a college in the middle of a moderate sized city as opposed to out in some rural area. The day was enhanced greatly by spending time with a distant cousin who is on campus as a soph. With him Davide attended his first college class, a large lecture, and received more insight to MU and being in college generally than we could have imagined.

Yet the time together in the car provided the memorable moments. We do not make nearly enough quiet time together as a family. We occasionally will share dinner together actually at the table, but more frequently our varied and full schedules keep us from being together or dinner is in front of the TV. More meaningful communication happened in that car yesterday than has happened in  long time.

I have been concerned about my relationship with my son. Strong feelings about how poorly we have been acting and talking to each other have been brewing for a long time. Some of this is the natural evolution of parent/child relationships as teens strive for more independence and parents endeavor to provide the right balance of both freedom and guidance. We had gotten way past this evolutionary level. While my wife and I tend to focus on what we felt are Davide’s shortcomings, I  also knew that his actions are intertwined with his perceptions of how we treat him.

Bottom line is that he listened, not merely heard but actually listened. We did a better job of sharing our points of view in a way that helped him listen. He spoke. We listened.  Emotions were shared. Understanding ensued. It was a family growth moment.

It is amazing how much this car ride made us happier and feel better.  I do not believe in epiphanies that change forever the relationships between people. However, this feels like a grand step forward.

I think that I am going to have to schedule more long car rides. Even if we have no particular place to go.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

One Response to Seventeen. Happy Birthday Davide. Part 2

  1. Frank says:

    Man, those last two sentences are pure gold.

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