Monday, June 9, 2008

Communications 101

As a teenager, I use to think my parents had come from Planet Un-Cool, where they had been removed from anything that was "in" or popular. They could not keep up with fashion. Or music. And they definitely could not speak my cool 80's speak.

How many times did my sister and I have to explain that "bad" was not necessarily "bad". It can be good or cool, but you just have to know the difference. If an outfit is "bad" it is probably "awesome" but if we say your dinner is "bad", it's probably "rank" (which is not a good thing).

Keep up!

So as a Mom, I'm in the application process for citizenship on Planet Un-Cool, hard as a I try. I still have a few years to go before the movers come and relocate me, but I can already start to feel the frustration from ChellBell when we don't understand each other's language.

I do pretty good with "mouse" and know that she's usually referring to the one attached to the computer, although she might mention the one in the garage, and then I have to decipher if it's a spare one next to an old monitor, or if it's the rodent who keeps escaping the traps.

She asked me to buy noodles at the store yesterday. But she meant the kind to swim with, and I bought the pasta kind.

The culmination of our language barrier came last Thursday. ChellBell's first day of summer was Friday, and I ended up taking the day off to hang out with her. I had the entire day planned out and let her in on the plans Thursday night. It went like this:

Me: "ChellBell, we're going to pick blackberries tomorrow! I'm so excited!"
(her face beams)
C: "What color, Mama?"
Me: "Well, probably black" (we are talking about blackberries here)
C: "Can we get a data plan?"
Me: "Huh?"
(she pulls out my cell phone -- a Blackberry)
C: Well, I want to get email on mine too!

Despite the communication issues and initial disappointment, we got in the car and drove 2 hours to the neatest farm in East Texas to pick blackberries (the fruit salad kind) and blueberries. Not knowing how a six-year old would react to being in a hot field doing manual labor, I prepared myself that we could, in all reality, be making a 4 hour round trip for about, say, 10 minutes of berry-picking. But we were there 2 hours, with a solid hour and a half of berry-picking, which yielded us 8 pounds of blackberries and a few handfuls of blueberries -- not quite picking time yet.

And we laughed.

And we snuck a few berries off the vine.

And we tried one that wasn't ripe -- which was terrible.

And then we laughed some more.

We did agree on one thing. We're glad that God believes in color. And we're glad that He made the berries different colors during different stages of ripening, so we would know exactly which ones to pick. Green to red (the awful tasting ones) to black.

Sweet days. Where you don't have to say a word. (And sometimes that's better...)

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