I have two teenagers and a twelve year old. Diana and Calypso are pretty sure they have all of life figured out, as befits their age. Of course, Diana let me know when she was 3 that she knew more than I did. I kid you not. Calypso just knows I can't possibly understand what it is like to be 14 because I came from the womb with gray hair. Isaac is just entering the irascible know-it-all stage. I understand this is all normal. I remember being sure my parents were complete idiots. Now it's my turn and my own abhorrent stupidity and ignorance as a parent grows by the day. When my IQ finally bottoms out I might still be able to dress and feed myself with minimal assistance, if I am lucky.
Now and again when the planets are properly aligned and the tide of raging hormones ebbs temporarily one of my offspring approaches me with a question or for advice. I quickly steady myself before the massive shift knocks me completely off balance. With luck, the Earth turns slowly enough on its axis that the seeker of knowledge actually remains in my presence and open enough to hear my response.
Such was the case last night when Calypso and I were in the kitchen as I tidied up and she made brownies. She asked for clarification on something she had heard and expressed her concerns about it being inappropriate. We talked about it for a while with her asking several more questions and letting me know it was something she'd been thinking about for a long time but was a little afraid to bring up. It was not an issue I was at all upset about but I was impressed that she wanted to evaluate it and not take it blindly. I told her I respected her desire to think things through. Later on she wanted help interpreting a couple poems for English class and we had some more discussion with substance. When she was finished and headed to bed she let me give her a big hug.
At first glance it was an evening of mundane activities but for me it was a rare and welcome opportunity much worth counting.