The Shadow Knows: Watching Superbad with My Son

When I was a kid, in the 70s, I used to swipe my older brother’s Mad magazines. A lot of the humor was over my head, but that only added to the allure: This was a peep show into an unknown world, and I was lusting to grow up.

One Mad feature I did get, however, was the regular series by Sergio Aragones: “The Shadow Knows.” It was a simple cartoon of all sorts of folks in all kinds of daily situations, but their shadows behind them projected (literally) their true thoughts or motivations. Like this:

I grew up in a house where things that should have been said were usually unsaid, and so I spent a lot of time deciphering subtext. I thought Sergio was hilarious. But at the same time, in my secret world, I wished his shadows were real.

The other day my teenage boy was flipping through channels while I was parked on the couch next to him. He landed on a particularly funny part of Superbad—the scene where a fretful McLovin is attempting to use his new fake ID to buy booze while his friends Evan and Seth wait in the parking lot outside.

I had already seen Superbad, but without my son—also named Evan—beside me. The friendship between the Evan and Seth reminded me a bit of my Evan and a friend of his, so I asked him, after we laughed for a few minutes, if he had seen the whole movie, too.

Evan kept his eyes fixed straight ahead and answered in a measured tone, “Um… yeah.” He clearly didn’t want to have a discussion about Superbad.

Click. He switched channels. We sat face-forward and silent on the couch. He found an old episode of Mythbusters and so we watched that instead.

But for a split second, over my shoulder appeared a shadow on the wall behind me.

And there I was, a massive, nosy bloodhound – sniffing, snooping, peering into privacies and uncovering secrets: Do any of your friends have fake IDs? Have you guys ever tried to buy alcohol? What’s the equivalent of Vagtastic.com for you and your friends? Have you ever been at a party like that? Do guys really talk about girls in that way?

And there was Evan: trying his best to protect his turf.

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58 Responses to The Shadow Knows: Watching Superbad with My Son

  1. Ann – You might have thought you were being nosy, but the shadow of your son might have simply shown an embarrassed boy.

    My parents, who were quite liberal, and I watched Risky Business together when I was probably too young to see it. I was never thinking about whether this would bring up questions or what my parents were thinking. I was simply too overwhelmed with embarrassment to think about anything them!

    If there were remote controls back then – and we hadn’t been in a movie theater – I would have changed the channels too. Not to avoid a prying conversation, but just to not be sitting there with my mom watching and hearing such things.

  2. Ann – You might have thought you were being nosy, but the shadow of your son might have simply shown an embarrassed boy.

    My parents, who were quite liberal, and I watched Risky Business together when I was probably too young to see it. I was never thinking about whether this would bring up questions or what my parents were thinking. I was simply too overwhelmed with embarrassment to think about anything them!

    If there were remote controls back then – and we hadn’t been in a movie theater – I would have changed the channels too. Not to avoid a prying conversation, but just to not be sitting there with my mom watching and hearing such things.

  3. Karen Swim says:

    Ann, your insight had me literally laughing out loud. Though not a parent, I have watched the bloodhound / Sherlock Holmes shadow spring to life in my friends’ lives often with hilarious results. Parenting is such a tough job, especially when parenting teens. Your analogy is absolute right on target! Thanks Ann for always making me laugh and think!

  4. Karen Swim says:

    Ann, your insight had me literally laughing out loud. Though not a parent, I have watched the bloodhound / Sherlock Holmes shadow spring to life in my friends’ lives often with hilarious results. Parenting is such a tough job, especially when parenting teens. Your analogy is absolute right on target! Thanks Ann for always making me laugh and think!

  5. Mack Collier says:

    Yeah might have been nosy, or could have been Even suddenly getting embarrassed cause he realized that OMG….I’m talking to my mom like a regular bud! LOL! Kids are crazy, I know, I’m a former child myself ;)

  6. Mack Collier says:

    Yeah might have been nosy, or could have been Even suddenly getting embarrassed cause he realized that OMG….I’m talking to my mom like a regular bud! LOL! Kids are crazy, I know, I’m a former child myself ;)

  7. Bdot says:

    Funny, your older brother was wondering where my(oops) MAD mags went to.

    Truth:
    When your older brother was 16, one of the businesses I (oops) was in, was making fake I.D.s

    2nd business was selling beer $3 a six pack, (thanks to Dennis) Did you ever wonder why he always wanted to give me a ride to the friday night dance?

    There were other businesses, but I’ll wait for the your blog about them before commenting.
    Hey, it WAS the 70′s!!!

  8. Bdot says:

    Funny, your older brother was wondering where my(oops) MAD mags went to.

    Truth:
    When your older brother was 16, one of the businesses I (oops) was in, was making fake I.D.s

    2nd business was selling beer $3 a six pack, (thanks to Dennis) Did you ever wonder why he always wanted to give me a ride to the friday night dance?

    There were other businesses, but I’ll wait for the your blog about them before commenting.
    Hey, it WAS the 70′s!!!

  9. Khalid says:

    Ann,

    You made laugh!

    You take this from a completely different perspective. is it the nosey parent or is it the protective parent? At what point do you let your children make their own decisions and trust that you have instilled good values in them?

  10. Khalid says:

    Ann,

    You made laugh!

    You take this from a completely different perspective. is it the nosey parent or is it the protective parent? At what point do you let your children make their own decisions and trust that you have instilled good values in them?

  11. Frank Martin says:

    Ann, he was probably TERRIFIED you were going to ask him if he *got* what happened when Seth was dancing with that chick at the beer party! That is not a conversation I’d want to have with my Mom!

    I still laugh when I think about McLovin…

    LOVE the “Shadow Knows” analogy!

  12. Frank Martin says:

    Ann, he was probably TERRIFIED you were going to ask him if he *got* what happened when Seth was dancing with that chick at the beer party! That is not a conversation I’d want to have with my Mom!

    I still laugh when I think about McLovin…

    LOVE the “Shadow Knows” analogy!

  13. Ann Handley says:

    Thanks for the comments, all…

    I am quite sure he was terrified that I was going to get all “let’s have a talk, son,” mode… I like to think of myself as a Mom who he can talk to about anything. But, as he gets older, I realize there are limits. The truth is… I really don’t want to know, and he shouldn’t have to tell me. (Within… you know….reason.)

    Khalid — your point about nosey v. protective is a call I guess every parent makes for themselves and their own kid. But if you saw Superbad, well… all I can say is that it’s NOT a movie I could watch with him without squirming myself…..

  14. Ann Handley says:

    Thanks for the comments, all…

    I am quite sure he was terrified that I was going to get all “let’s have a talk, son,” mode… I like to think of myself as a Mom who he can talk to about anything. But, as he gets older, I realize there are limits. The truth is… I really don’t want to know, and he shouldn’t have to tell me. (Within… you know….reason.)

    Khalid — your point about nosey v. protective is a call I guess every parent makes for themselves and their own kid. But if you saw Superbad, well… all I can say is that it’s NOT a movie I could watch with him without squirming myself…..

  15. Lala says:

    Not quite the same thing, but to this day, I cannot be in the same room as my father when a tampon commercial comes on TV. My shadow? Making a beeline straight for the door, fleeing in embarrassed horror.

    43 years old…tsk tsk…

  16. Lala says:

    Not quite the same thing, but to this day, I cannot be in the same room as my father when a tampon commercial comes on TV. My shadow? Making a beeline straight for the door, fleeing in embarrassed horror.

    43 years old…tsk tsk…

  17. Nedra says:

    My husband recently dug up a cache of about 10 Mad paperback books from his childhood. It’s such a blast from the past, but also a different experience to look at them from an adult perspective.

    My kids are still young enough (7 and 10) that their lives are an open book to me. I’m not sure yet what my boundaries will be in balancing privacy vs involvement (read: “prying”) when they are teens. I guess I’ll make it up as we go along.

  18. Nedra says:

    My husband recently dug up a cache of about 10 Mad paperback books from his childhood. It’s such a blast from the past, but also a different experience to look at them from an adult perspective.

    My kids are still young enough (7 and 10) that their lives are an open book to me. I’m not sure yet what my boundaries will be in balancing privacy vs involvement (read: “prying”) when they are teens. I guess I’ll make it up as we go along.

  19. Imagine ME watching Superbad with my wife. Me glued to TV with blank stare on my face. Shadow on wall of me laughing hysterically at every little piece of foul potty humor. Volume low so 6 year old son doesn’t hear the filth. Wife rolls over muttering something or other.

    Being in the 18-34 male demographic is hard work.

  20. Imagine ME watching Superbad with my wife. Me glued to TV with blank stare on my face. Shadow on wall of me laughing hysterically at every little piece of foul potty humor. Volume low so 6 year old son doesn’t hear the filth. Wife rolls over muttering something or other.

    Being in the 18-34 male demographic is hard work.

  21. Shelley says:

    Betcha Evan’s shadow was saying, “Shit, I just KNOW she’s going to blog about this.”

  22. Shelley says:

    Betcha Evan’s shadow was saying, “Shit, I just KNOW she’s going to blog about this.”

  23. I love Superbad. Seriously love it. It actually shares “favorite movie” honors with The Squid and the Whale. Both movies about the male teenage experience, one slapstick and one cerebral, but essentially similar in their truth of what it means to be a teenage boy. The details might differ from one guy to the next, but the general themes are usually the same.

    I don’t have my own kids, but I’m a particularly involved uncle and godfather for a 12-year-old nephew whose father is erratically involved in his life. I think of him like a son. I’m very comfortable with the idea that he has a private life, one which will expand as he hits teenage-dom, and I’m not overly curious about the stuff he keeps to himself. If he wants to tell me, great; if not, that’s cool, too. Maybe it’s a guy thing. In a couple years we’ll watch Superbad together, no uncomfortable subtext, and we’ll laugh because we’ll both know it’s true.

    Even though your instinct is more inquisitive, Ann, I’ll bet more guys wish they had a Mom like you, one willing to leave it as a shadow on the wall, where everyone can at least pretend it doesn’t exist.

  24. I love Superbad. Seriously love it. It actually shares “favorite movie” honors with The Squid and the Whale. Both movies about the male teenage experience, one slapstick and one cerebral, but essentially similar in their truth of what it means to be a teenage boy. The details might differ from one guy to the next, but the general themes are usually the same.

    I don’t have my own kids, but I’m a particularly involved uncle and godfather for a 12-year-old nephew whose father is erratically involved in his life. I think of him like a son. I’m very comfortable with the idea that he has a private life, one which will expand as he hits teenage-dom, and I’m not overly curious about the stuff he keeps to himself. If he wants to tell me, great; if not, that’s cool, too. Maybe it’s a guy thing. In a couple years we’ll watch Superbad together, no uncomfortable subtext, and we’ll laugh because we’ll both know it’s true.

    Even though your instinct is more inquisitive, Ann, I’ll bet more guys wish they had a Mom like you, one willing to leave it as a shadow on the wall, where everyone can at least pretend it doesn’t exist.

  25. First, a little story about my wife and I watching movies with my parents, and a few times, my grandfather, who was 80-ish at the time:

    * We saw South Park the movie together.

    * Monster’s Ball. (My Mom wanted to know why it won an Oscar. After that horribly long sex scene, my Dad says somewhat quietly, “Guess we know why.”)

    And there are a few more just like that.

    The beauty of these kinds of movies is that they can open up conversations. The scary part is HOW you open them.

    My Mom once read an article in People about something called “scarfing.” I guess some folks get off by jumping off something with a scarf around their neck, and *then* doing their personal business.

    Somehow, this translated into an immediate fear that she sprang on my brother. Neither he nor I had heard of this, so she had to explain it in detail. Awk-ward. But further, we were like, “What the hell do you think we DO in our rooms?” Answer: not with scarfs.

    So, it’s a great on-ramp to an important conversation, but it’s HOW you take the next step that matters. Don’t be too jokey, but don’t be too “public service announcement Mom.”

    Knowing you as little as I do and yet as much as I do, I suspect you’re a great Mom to handle these moments with tact and humor in equal parts.

  26. First, a little story about my wife and I watching movies with my parents, and a few times, my grandfather, who was 80-ish at the time:

    * We saw South Park the movie together.

    * Monster’s Ball. (My Mom wanted to know why it won an Oscar. After that horribly long sex scene, my Dad says somewhat quietly, “Guess we know why.”)

    And there are a few more just like that.

    The beauty of these kinds of movies is that they can open up conversations. The scary part is HOW you open them.

    My Mom once read an article in People about something called “scarfing.” I guess some folks get off by jumping off something with a scarf around their neck, and *then* doing their personal business.

    Somehow, this translated into an immediate fear that she sprang on my brother. Neither he nor I had heard of this, so she had to explain it in detail. Awk-ward. But further, we were like, “What the hell do you think we DO in our rooms?” Answer: not with scarfs.

    So, it’s a great on-ramp to an important conversation, but it’s HOW you take the next step that matters. Don’t be too jokey, but don’t be too “public service announcement Mom.”

    Knowing you as little as I do and yet as much as I do, I suspect you’re a great Mom to handle these moments with tact and humor in equal parts.

  27. Tom Hespos says:

    I vote for “embarrassed” too. Quick war story – When I was much younger, a childhood friend of mine recommended I check “Kentucky Fried Movie” out at the video store. So the next time I went there with my Dad, I had him get it for me.

    I think you can see where this is going. The “Catholic High School Girls In Trouble” scene came on, and as a young teen, all I could do was face forward and turn red until my dad leaned over and said, “Tommy, why don’t you go upstairs? I don’t think this movie is for you.”

    Anyway…

    Glad to see you’re a MAD fan, Ann. I still have all my old issues of MAD and Cracked from when I was a kid. It’s amazing how many of those jokes cruised right over my young head, and how many of those jokes I never got back then are funny now.

    I credit MAD Magazine and Bloom County with cultivating my interest in politics at an early age. :-)

  28. Tom Hespos says:

    I vote for “embarrassed” too. Quick war story – When I was much younger, a childhood friend of mine recommended I check “Kentucky Fried Movie” out at the video store. So the next time I went there with my Dad, I had him get it for me.

    I think you can see where this is going. The “Catholic High School Girls In Trouble” scene came on, and as a young teen, all I could do was face forward and turn red until my dad leaned over and said, “Tommy, why don’t you go upstairs? I don’t think this movie is for you.”

    Anyway…

    Glad to see you’re a MAD fan, Ann. I still have all my old issues of MAD and Cracked from when I was a kid. It’s amazing how many of those jokes cruised right over my young head, and how many of those jokes I never got back then are funny now.

    I credit MAD Magazine and Bloom County with cultivating my interest in politics at an early age. :-)

  29. Great post and funny/endearing comments by all!

  30. Great post and funny/endearing comments by all!

  31. Peter Kim says:

    You remind me of what I call the “funky boss” theory. Derived from the Beastie Boys song, same name. Basically, no matter how cool a boss may be, at the end of the day that person is still the boss. I have, however, witnessed an exception or two to this rule. But clearly it transfers into a “funky parent” application as well.

  32. Peter Kim says:

    You remind me of what I call the “funky boss” theory. Derived from the Beastie Boys song, same name. Basically, no matter how cool a boss may be, at the end of the day that person is still the boss. I have, however, witnessed an exception or two to this rule. But clearly it transfers into a “funky parent” application as well.

  33. Mukund Mohan says:

    I was reading this half smiling half squirming. My kids are 6 and 4 and we don’t have TV at home so this would have been real interesting.

    Actually I always wanted to be a Mad character. Wonder if they can make me a commemerative edition :)

    Comment from blackberry btw so typos excused.

  34. Mukund Mohan says:

    I was reading this half smiling half squirming. My kids are 6 and 4 and we don’t have TV at home so this would have been real interesting.

    Actually I always wanted to be a Mad character. Wonder if they can make me a commemerative edition :)

    Comment from blackberry btw so typos excused.

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  37. Ann,

    great story. I’ve got to tell you that when my hubby and I were first dating my Mom, who was at the time I think 60 something, came to Austin to meet him.

    I rented this movie I’d kept hearing about from my VISTA/Peace Corp friends called, “Chasing Amy”. For anyone who has seen that movie you will quickly understand why maybe it’s a bit embarrassing to watch with your Mom and her husband. (It is a good movie though.)

    And I love MAD and Bloom County to this day so I echo Mack on that one.

  38. Ann,

    great story. I’ve got to tell you that when my hubby and I were first dating my Mom, who was at the time I think 60 something, came to Austin to meet him.

    I rented this movie I’d kept hearing about from my VISTA/Peace Corp friends called, “Chasing Amy”. For anyone who has seen that movie you will quickly understand why maybe it’s a bit embarrassing to watch with your Mom and her husband. (It is a good movie though.)

    And I love MAD and Bloom County to this day so I echo Mack on that one.

  39. Jeff Sass says:

    Nice! I have yet to see SUPERBAD, but I can certainly relate. As a single Dad with three Teens in the house (boys 19 and 17, daughter, 16) I have had more than my fair share of “shadow” moments. Most recently I walked in on my daughter watching MTV’s Spring Break programming and I was shocked by the overt sexual content and context. I am far from a prude, and pretty open, fair-minded and trusting of my kids, and I have confidence in their ability to make their own decisions (and mistakes), but it is hard not to wonder how their views are colored by the elicit and explicit that is so readily available and accepted in our open digital world. I laughed as hard as anyone at the Jimmy Kimmel/Sara Silverman “I F’d Matt and Ben” videos, but I also took note at how many “names” were happy to blast the proverbial “F” word on TV for the sake of a joke (and attention). Who knows if it is good or bad… In either case, it puts the onus on us as parents to try to instill a mature perspective on things at earlier and earlier ages… MAD Magazine seems awfully innocent in comparison…

  40. Jeff Sass says:

    Nice! I have yet to see SUPERBAD, but I can certainly relate. As a single Dad with three Teens in the house (boys 19 and 17, daughter, 16) I have had more than my fair share of “shadow” moments. Most recently I walked in on my daughter watching MTV’s Spring Break programming and I was shocked by the overt sexual content and context. I am far from a prude, and pretty open, fair-minded and trusting of my kids, and I have confidence in their ability to make their own decisions (and mistakes), but it is hard not to wonder how their views are colored by the elicit and explicit that is so readily available and accepted in our open digital world. I laughed as hard as anyone at the Jimmy Kimmel/Sara Silverman “I F’d Matt and Ben” videos, but I also took note at how many “names” were happy to blast the proverbial “F” word on TV for the sake of a joke (and attention). Who knows if it is good or bad… In either case, it puts the onus on us as parents to try to instill a mature perspective on things at earlier and earlier ages… MAD Magazine seems awfully innocent in comparison…

  41. Bhupesh Shah says:

    Whenever that happened to me, I would squirm but I think my Dad felt more awkward. He would clear his throat but not say anything. Needless to say, the channel would be flipped.

  42. Bhupesh Shah says:

    Whenever that happened to me, I would squirm but I think my Dad felt more awkward. He would clear his throat but not say anything. Needless to say, the channel would be flipped.

  43. Ditto (Annie) says:

    All I can say is… some things are better left in the shadows when it has to do with young boys.

    I always thought it was great that my son and I were able to talk about ANYTHING… until, yeah… let’s just leave it at that.

  44. Ditto (Annie) says:

    All I can say is… some things are better left in the shadows when it has to do with young boys.

    I always thought it was great that my son and I were able to talk about ANYTHING… until, yeah… let’s just leave it at that.

  45. warrenss says:

    Ann, another great one that really resonates with me. I often find myself in the same situation with my 15 year old daughter while we watch something totally inappropriate on MTV. And have you been accused of Facebook stalking, too?

    BTW, my favorite part of MAD magazine was the back cover that you would fold to reveal a very different, but related cartoon.

  46. Warren says:

    Ann, another great one that really resonates with me. I often find myself in the same situation with my 15 year old daughter while we watch something totally inappropriate on MTV. And have you been accused of Facebook stalking, too?

    BTW, my favorite part of MAD magazine was the back cover that you would fold to reveal a very different, but related cartoon.

  47. True happiness?

    When you and your shadow are one.

    Not there yet. Little steps every day.

  48. True happiness?

    When you and your shadow are one.

    Not there yet. Little steps every day.

  49. David says:

    No kid, especially a young boy, wants to watch such things with their parent around. It’s not that they have engaged with it necessarily, but rather because it is simply awkward. The best example would be a sex scene in a movie when your kid clearly hasn’t engaged in such activities. There will be squirming. And its not because they are hiding anything from you.

    The question of “have you seen the movie” could be seen as prying — he wasn’t sure if it was OK to say yes or no, if there was a “right” answer.

    As for how to turn this into a conversation — I wouldn’t ever want to have this conversation with a parent. I was caught with a fake ID 3 months before my 21st brithday (trying to get into a 21 and up music venue to hear Todd Snider). But they instilled other values in me so I never used the ID for alcohol. So, the lessons occur much earlier than in the moment.

  50. David says:

    No kid, especially a young boy, wants to watch such things with their parent around. It’s not that they have engaged with it necessarily, but rather because it is simply awkward. The best example would be a sex scene in a movie when your kid clearly hasn’t engaged in such activities. There will be squirming. And its not because they are hiding anything from you.

    The question of “have you seen the movie” could be seen as prying — he wasn’t sure if it was OK to say yes or no, if there was a “right” answer.

    As for how to turn this into a conversation — I wouldn’t ever want to have this conversation with a parent. I was caught with a fake ID 3 months before my 21st brithday (trying to get into a 21 and up music venue to hear Todd Snider). But they instilled other values in me so I never used the ID for alcohol. So, the lessons occur much earlier than in the moment.

  51. Amy says:

    I must say I always thought I would be the parent who would talk to her kids about anything at anytime. However, I think when we make these plans we think the issue will arrive when the timing is perfect and all the stars are in line. Then when it hits you from left field the opportunity for superparenting is gone before you have a chance to engage your well-prepared openness and liberal guidance skills. Like JUST THIS MORNING at my house (really) when my 8yo son said to me over breakfast, “I know what sex means.” Now, there are so many proper responses to this statement:
    “What do you think it means?”
    “Where did you learn about this?”
    “How do you feel about it?”
    “Do you have any questions about it.”
    Everyone one of these seems better than what instinctively came out of my mouth:
    “Well, don’t tell your brother.”

  52. Amy says:

    I must say I always thought I would be the parent who would talk to her kids about anything at anytime. However, I think when we make these plans we think the issue will arrive when the timing is perfect and all the stars are in line. Then when it hits you from left field the opportunity for superparenting is gone before you have a chance to engage your well-prepared openness and liberal guidance skills. Like JUST THIS MORNING at my house (really) when my 8yo son said to me over breakfast, “I know what sex means.” Now, there are so many proper responses to this statement:
    “What do you think it means?”
    “Where did you learn about this?”
    “How do you feel about it?”
    “Do you have any questions about it.”
    Everyone one of these seems better than what instinctively came out of my mouth:
    “Well, don’t tell your brother.”

  53. Ann Handley says:

    Thanks for the comments, all. Funny how lots of similar scenarios here… either as the parent OR the child!

    Warren — On Facebook, we avoid each other: like we’re somehow — impossibly — at the same party. When I stumble on him — which I have once or twice — I always close the door quickly, like I accidentally walked in on him in the bathroom.

    p.s. Amy — Your comment made me laugh out loud…..

  54. Ann Handley says:

    Thanks for the comments, all. Funny how lots of similar scenarios here… either as the parent OR the child!

    Warren — On Facebook, we avoid each other: like we’re somehow — impossibly — at the same party. When I stumble on him — which I have once or twice — I always close the door quickly, like I accidentally walked in on him in the bathroom.

    p.s. Amy — Your comment made me laugh out loud…..

  55. Julie says:

    Ann, my son on-demanded this movie, I haven’t seen it yet. I asked him if it was funny and he said yes and then I asked if he would be too embarrassed to watch it with me and he said yes. I let it drop at that, but I’m still dying to see it. Borat is another cringe-inducer. By the way, I always loved Roger Kaputnik in Mad Magazine!

  56. Julie says:

    Ann, my son on-demanded this movie, I haven’t seen it yet. I asked him if it was funny and he said yes and then I asked if he would be too embarrassed to watch it with me and he said yes. I let it drop at that, but I’m still dying to see it. Borat is another cringe-inducer. By the way, I always loved Roger Kaputnik in Mad Magazine!

  57. Cam Beck says:

    Lately my son seems to be annoyed when I ask him how his day went or if he enjoyed a particular activity.

    Last week, after he asked me how my day went, I expounded on all my successes and failures of the day and how I would react to them in the future. Didn’t take more than 15 minutes.

    I looked at him and said, “Avery, you just asked me how my day was, and I really told you everything about it that is worth knowing (funny that it only took 15 minutes, but that’s another matter). When I ask you how your day went, I want to know just as much as I told you.”

    He nodded and seemed to understand, but who really knows? He’s almost 11, and I think I stopped hanging the moon in his eyes when he turned 9.

  58. Cam Beck says:

    Lately my son seems to be annoyed when I ask him how his day went or if he enjoyed a particular activity.

    Last week, after he asked me how my day went, I expounded on all my successes and failures of the day and how I would react to them in the future. Didn’t take more than 15 minutes.

    I looked at him and said, “Avery, you just asked me how my day was, and I really told you everything about it that is worth knowing (funny that it only took 15 minutes, but that’s another matter). When I ask you how your day went, I want to know just as much as I told you.”

    He nodded and seemed to understand, but who really knows? He’s almost 11, and I think I stopped hanging the moon in his eyes when he turned 9.

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