With the exception of the days when Chip is traveling or has an early morning meeting, he takes Charlie to Childgarden and I take Mary Clare to her school. I am clearly the winner in this situation, as Holy Redeemer is only two blocks from our house. Depending on my schedule, we either walk to school, or I drive her. The commute time is actually shorter if we walk, but either way, we're not talking a lot of time here. It is, however, a great, albeit short, opportunity to get some one-on-one time.
Some days we talk about what we're passing along the way. Sometimes she tells me little snippets about school. Sometimes she is really quiet, which means that she is working something out in her head. Something that will likely come out on our walk home that afternoon, or before bed that night. And some days she asks me questions. Lately she has been very interested in Chip and me—how we met, how long we dated, when we got married, where we went on our honeymoon, where we went to school, if we knew each other as kids, etc. This week she has shown an interest in our jobs. Thanks to the nifty time change this week, she was the first one up on Monday morning, and as I woke up, I heard her grilling Chip about his job. This morning as we drove to school, Mary Clare asked me exactly what I do at work. I gave her the five-second, five-year-old version. She asked for clarification on a lot of things, but then she said, "What is the favorite thing you do at work?"
It sounds weird, but I was taken aback. And maybe close to crying. But I choked out, "Write. I like to write."
I don't know why, but that sweet, simple question totally got to me. It was just so thoughtful. And flattering. Yes, flattering! My daughter wanted to know about me. Me!
Okay, this is all ridiculous, I know, and looking for a point, but of late, when it comes to the kids, it seems like I am at the receiving end of a list of requests or demands. We work to make sure that their requests are phrased as politely as possible, and we don't jump the second they ask for something, but there is still no getting around the fact that more often than not, when the kids talk to me, they are asking for something.
And so this, this was nice. It was out of left field, she may not remember it, but I will. Not just because she was asking about me, but because I can see that maybe, just maybe, she is picking up on the consideration we show others, she's learning that conversations are two sided, and maybe, just maybe, she is starting to realize that the world does not revolve around her.
Or she just wanted to know if I use that computer for something other than online shopping.