Effective communication is the touchstone of a good relationship. Listening to what the other person has to say. Actually hearing their words and not just spouting off when you want to hear yourself speak, but actually letting the other person tell you what’s on their mind.
Sometimes it takes a teenager to point out what you might be missing in this area. Sure, you’ve been married 17 years, your daughter is only 14, what could she possibly know? Apparently she just has better hearing.
It’s Sunday evening. We’re both with blankets on our laps, laptops on those blankets and on separate couches.
Me while sipping peppermint tea, shouting to McSweetie in the other room: “You can come in and watch football now. I’m done with my show.” (That show happened to be Les Miserable.)
McSweetie: “That’s okay, me and the cat are here napping.”
Me: “Why are you taking a nap at 8’oclock at night?”
McSweetie: “I’m norphn nea bate gluck” (I don’t know, I couldn’t hear him.)
Emma walks in.
“That was the dumbest thing between you two just now. When you asked dad if he wanted to come in and watch football he said, ‘I’m hanging out with the cat’ and then you said something about taking a nap, and then he said ‘what time is it? It’s 8 o’clock’.
“You guys are the worst old people and you’re not even that old.”
Oh didn’t you know? Forty is the new seventy.