I participate in two carpools with two families involving six kids from the ages of 11-14. It's all I can do to remember whose turn it is to pick up whom at what time. You should see my calendar...it's crazy.
But I wouldn't trade those moments in the car for any amount of money. My sons are growing way too fast, and I gobble up those concentrated moments between here and there.
The most tender moments are those between me and my 14-year-old son, just the two of us, discussing life, girls, classes, dreams. The craziest moments? When I've had six JV football players stuffed in my car, gear bags and all (pre-practice, so my nose was lucky).
Real conversation, I kid you not:
"Dude, are you wearing your cup?"
"In your strap?"
"Nah, in my girdle."
"Dude, it'll move around in there."
*invisible mommy driver blushes*
As a YA writer, this type of dialogue is the treasure Indiana Jones would wrestle snakes for. And it's interesting to hear how different the boys talk when girls are in the car--and how much Axe body spray is used in the process.
Carpooling reminds me that today's kids have many of the same concerns we did:
- Capturing the attention of the person they're crushing on
- Peer pressure/trying to fit in
- Worries about homework
- Balancing the precarious social life at school
It's also interesting to note the things modern teens worry about that we didn't:
- Will that embarrassing text be forward to everyone?
- How could she post that on Facebook? Doesn't she realize it's now public?
- I'm only 14, do I really need to know what I want to do with the rest of my life?
As a writer, my ears are perked up and listening. As a mom, I'm enjoying every mile.
Can you add something that today's teens are concerned about? Or have you overheard some funny/interesting/crazy teen dialogue? Please share!