Place any male child into a moving vehicle and their typically tight-clenched jaws become magically unhinged.
Every secret they keep, every question they ponder come spewing from their lips like the rapid fire of bullets sprayed incessantly from a machine gun.
Some of the best conversations I have ever had with Weston have occurred in the front seat of our vehicle. Whether we are traveling to or from school or headed to an appointment, it is here that Weston feels the most comfortable.
What is it about the cozy confines of the car that makes Weston want to spill his guts?
Am I less distracted and more focused on listening?
Is it the lack of eye contact?
Or is it where we spend most of our time together?
Personally, I think there is some kind of magic energy, like the invisible force field that is said to envelope you when you sit beneath a pyramid. It is a power that boys seem to have trouble resisting, a kind of kiddie kryptonite designed specifically to make young males talk.
I do not understand why school principals or police interrogationists don't take better advantage of this unique and highly effective driving device that seems more potent in withdrawing information from the brains of boys than truth serum.
Today the power of the magic road riding device kicked-in on our way to the orthodontist.
It may indeed be summer, a time for relaxing and staying put for most individuals but for a busy mother with two children, chauffeuring duties seem to reach a crescendo at this time of year.
I make a right onto 133 and it begins:
"Mom, why are boys my age such punks?"
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"Well, they act silly in class, they swear all the time and talk about nothing but bums and boobs."
I resist an urge to laugh out loud as I remember a similar quality about the boys in my own freshman class.
"I think that is a pretty typical behavior for ninth graders."
"How come the girls don't act like that?" he asks.
"Hmmm," I say, thinking about his rather astute observation.
"The girls are all so pretty now, wearing make-up and nice clothes. They seem to hate all the idiots in my class," he laments.
"Well, maybe the boys are starting to feel the effects of testosterone, making them go a little crazy by thinking a lot about sex." I say tentatively.
"Yep, that's pretty much all they want to do," he replies straightly. "But the girls....they don't. It's like they are so much more mature. Why is that Mom?"
"Well maybe they are feeling the effects of estrogen and preparing for the reality of caring for children." Honestly, I have no idea if this is true....but it is all I can come up with at the spur of the moment.
"Yeah.....I think so too....Gee Mom it kinda sucks having to be mature, being the only one who is taking care of things all the time while the boys all behave like monkeys?"
I am surprised at my son's ability to see a different perspective.
Do you ever wish you were a guy?" he asks.
"Yes, Weston", I laugh. "I think you have just pretty much summed up how it feels to be a mother."
Who would have thought that a journey to the dentist would prompt such a conversation....!
I wonder if sitting in the front seat of this truth-telling, thought-provoking driving device will do the same thing for husbands?
Lisa Peters blogs about family life at www.onalifelessperfect.blogspot.com