A few weeks ago, a friend of mine with older kids was telling us that she realized her daughter had read those "growing up and liking it" books she'd subtly left around. They hadn't had "the talk" yet, and the mom was kind of dreading it, so she figured she'd just leave a few books around to see what the interest was.
Turns out the interest was there, and her daughter brought it up in the car from school to her afternoon activity. It's not my story to share, so I won't share details, but tough questions were asked.
As this particular mom recounted her story, we all cringed along with her as she told us the questions her daughter had asked and how she had answered them. Those of us not yet there thanked our lucky stars that we weren't there yet, and those who were past the first awkward conversation congratulated her on the successful initiation to the club. And we all suggested wine.
Then the location of the "talk" came up, and that was intriguing to me. While some moms said that they would have driven off the road, and others said they would have shut it down until a better time, I admitted that I sort of loved the venue for this awkward conversation. I really did. Think about it.
No one can run away from the topic. You can't just get out.
Eye contact isn't a possibility (prolonged eye contact, at least), so the discomfort is lessened.
You have a finite period of time.
I mean, for an awkward conversation, it's sort of perfect.
Now I'm not suggesting that this mom confine all her uncomfortable conversations to the car, but honestly, it seems like a win in this case. The ice has been broken, the conversation has been started, and it's been started in a way that let both mom and daughter have a bit of detachment from the cliche of the official face to face.
And it got me thinking about how I can better use my car time. In a way, I already do this. But I know that I can use our ample car time for good conversation to flow. I started coming up with starters that will really help us connect, and I know I'll be using them.
And I'm still thanking my lucky stars that we're not there yet.