Other than, "When are we going to restart our meetings after school again?", the only other question Jake kept repeating to me was, "Do you think Joe will be there?" Joe is like a crazy uncle to my kids or something.
So over a blended shake and a cookie, I asked Jake how his world was going and he said a bunch including the following:
REGARDING FIFTH GRADE: "Fifth grade is hard."
REGARDING MATH: "You don't even do math Dad. You have Pam do it all for you." (Ha... he got me there. Pam is my part time admin and all she does almost exclusively the financial stuff and event money recording. I hate math and budgeting.)
REGARDING THE PRINCIPAL: "He turned my school into a prison. We now have gates on the school. Birthday's can only have healthy snacks and no cupcakes. You can only buy ice cream on Friday's. It's a prison."
REGARDING GIRLS: "Why do they paint their toes? This is a waste of time and money. I accidentally stepped on some girls toes today. She got really upset. She should just wear tennis shoes or something. Or at least close toed. You know you had to wear closed toed shoes to summer fun camp this summer. Really, why do they paint their toes?"
REGARDING CHECKERS ON MY IPHONE: "I don't want to play. You always win."
REGARDING THE RANDOM QUESTION GAME ON MY IPHONE HE LOVES: "Um, are you making this stuff up or is that what it really said?"
REGARDING TYPING: "I'm not very good at it. Can you help me type my paragraph tonight."
REGARDING HIS NEW 5TH/6TH GRADE ROOM AT CHURCH: "It's sick. I want to play guitar. We need indoor soccer balls."
... love that kid. :)
HANDS DOWN... Best parenting move I've ever made. WITHOUT QUESTION. Regular one-on-one bonding meetings with my kids. LOVE and cherish these times.
and HANDS DOWN... best moments I've ever had with students as a youth pastor are the, the one-on-one conversations with students.
If you're a parent or you're a mentor to teens or you coach or teach or whatever... let me remind you to set aside some time and connect one-on-one. My experience says the dividends will be immeasurable.