My 4-year old son came running into the living room last night and unleashed a fury of sentences on me, some fragmented, and some complete. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
When I did, he enthusiastically nodded and then rattled off more words. I couldn’t slow him down. He wanted me to know that the paper towel spool he held was his spaceship (I’m not kidding) and that it was ready for liftoff. In the course of that conversation he also mentioned that he was Ironman and that he would shoot any bad guy that tried to steal me.
Later that evening I took my 12-year old daughter out to the store and the conversation was quite different than earlier with my son.
“How was school today sweetie?” I asked.
“What did you learn?”
“Oh, math, and other stuff.”
“How are things going with those girls who were being mean?”
And that was pretty much the end! We continued to chat about little things but it was mostly me asking questions and her giving one or two word answers. It was typical pre-teen to dad interaction. It was a far cry from the conversation I had with my 4-year old a few hours earlier.
In that moment I was reminded of something and I realized another.
I was reminded that she was growing up and her voice was also growing up. Then, as we drove, I realized that it was up to me to transition from childish to grown-up conversation with her. Once upon a time there was a day where she would talk my ear off and ask a million questions in a 3 minute period. We would talk about Barbie or Dora The Explorer and I would respond to her in silly cartoon voice. She would giggle and shake her head.
But those days are now gone. She’s growing up. She’s into One Direction and the gossip on Selena Gomez (as much as it pains me to type that!). The conversation has changed. I have to make the transition to more grown-up conversation with her. Not entirely grown-up, but were getting closer.
This isn’t an easy thing to do, I admit. Not so long ago I remember thinking that I had a lot of time. But now time has sped up. Soon my son, who believes in Santa and that common household items are spaceships, will begin to talk differently. And that’s okay. It’s a normal part of life. It’s just up to me to make the transition! I’ve got work to do. I’m guessing some of you do to.
Question: Are you experiencing this in your household? What has helped you make the transition?
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