Although it’s been ‘official’ for almost two months, it’s starting to feel like spring. Finally. And, by the end of the week, it will feel like summer! With longer hours of daylight, warmer weather, and outdoor activities, we hope you’re GAB’bing about it all.
Over pasta dinner last night (not a kid fave in our house), we heard about horseshoe crabs on the move at this time of year. We now have a plan to start peeking along our shoreline during May, June and July in hopes of witnessing these “living fossils” whose ancestors date back to before the dinosaurs. Our daughter was a little hesitant to share the fact that horseshoe crabs are really not crabs at all (crustaceans) but more closely related to spiders and scorpions (arachnids). She thinks that crabs are much cuter! Either way, they are creatures to treasure.
Our bigger challenge (than divulging crab not-so-secret info) is that, with longer days comes later sports practices, end-of-school band recitals, friends asking to bike ride…..
This is all good. But dinner is rushed more now than ever and time to talk with the kids about their day is squeezed somewhere in between everything else. We remain intentional about it. We know that hearing about our kid’s day, from them, has a boatload of positive, evidence based effects that last a lifetime (we’re talking improved academics, strengthened executive functions, reduced at-risk behaviors in teen years….). We also know that some nights we’ll GAB in the car en route to said sports practice, so it may be a 10 minute check-in. Other nights it will be an icky pasta dinner but with lots of chit-chat about crabs, PARCC testing, and saxophone rehearsal. For me, it’s not just knowing about a specific lesson or event at school, it’s how they tell the story. What is their perspective — did it excite them, confuse them, concern them, inspire them….? Just hearing my son or daughter share a GAB from their day tells me something. Hearing them elaborate on it, share their opinion, and ask questions…that tells me a lot more. And is something else to treasure.