Somewhere along our parenting journey we learned the importance of teaching our children to ask questions of others. We are encouraging our kids in conversation with people of all ages and hoping and praying that they learn to be somewhat interesting adults someday. It’s just plain good manners to be interested in others, especially when you are sitting down to a meal with people you don’t know well.
Tonight we went out to our favorite mariachi-band-playing-Mexican restaurant, LaPerla, and my husband asked the kids to think of three questions to ask their parents. (US!) As we munched on tortilla chips and salsa, our kids brought smiles to my face once again.
Nine-year-old Nora started with the inquiry, “Would it be bad if someone painted the carpet?” I answered her with a question, “Did someone paint the carpet?” To which she replied with a dimpled smile, “Maaaayyyybe.” Love that girl. (And I couldn’t find any painted carpet when we arrived home.)
Fourteen-year-old Keeve first asked his father, “Why are you wearing THAT shirt?” And we all laughed. Then he asked more deviously, “What is the fastest you have ever driven?” I didn’t realize it was the night of the inquisition at LaPerla. We ALL remember when Rick hit 110 MPH on a long, lonely stretch of highway in southern Nevada. The boys L-O-V-E-D every minivan-shaking minute of it. I did not.
Sixteen-year-old Austin questioned us with a huge smile on his face, “What is the most illegal thing you’ve ever done?” Good grief. At first I answered speeding while driving…. then after a few more chips and salsa I changed my answer to international smuggling. Rick got this guilty look on his face and also said international smuggling, but not while with me. The kids were quite interested and this encouraged more questioning on their part. (They are getting so smartified!)
My tale of woe dates back to college days when I lived in Langley, B.C., Canada, 15 minutes from the US border. Knowing the clothing prices and selection were SO MUCH better across the border, but not wanting to pay duty, my friend and I devised this ingenious international smuggling ring. We would dress in work-out clothes and take our wallets and an empty work-out bag in the car. We would drive down to Bellingham and shop, shop, shop for one complete outfit including jewelry, shoes and a purse. We would put on our entire purchase and put our work-out clothes in the bags and throw them in the trunk. I’m not actually sure we were illegal… there is a personal allowance for each trip down to the States. It was more fun than wrong, in my humble-excuse-giving-opinion.
My dear husband’s international smuggling story makes me look like Miss Polly Purebread. Rick was also at the same college 15 minutes from the border. However, his story involved a customs agent, a search through his car and a true confession, for which he was fully exonerated on the spot. It doesn’t pay to lie, children!
Not sure if we will have the kids ask us questions again. Maybe to each other, or their grandparents….