Tonight I decided I was going to walk the path around the soccer fields while Abby had her practice. I was looking forward to listening to some good music, and getting some long overdue walking done. However, Mateo decided to join me, and talked nonstop the first 3 miles about Star Wars. After a while, I had all I could take, and tried getting him onto a new subject. I asked him if he could visit any country, which one would he choose? He looked up at me, and said, "Any of them, as long as you're there with me!" My heart melted. He is going to be quite the Casanova in a few years!
After that question was answered he talked the next two miles non stop about what he would buy me if he's ever rich. As we were heading to the car, he told me that he had fun talking with me, because normally he doesn't think I care about Star Wars, or like to talk about it with him. It caught me off guard. The truth is, when he gets on one of his tangents about Legos, Star Wars, or whatever show he's into that week, I normally tune him out. I often compare him to a Golden Retriever. Once you throw that ball for the first time, that dog thinks you're in it for the long hall. He doesn't care if the slobber is grossing you out, your arms are tired, or if you have some place to be. He's feeling joy, and wants it to continue for as long as possible. Mateo is like that in the fact that if you at all show any interest in what he is talking about, he's going to talk non-stop about it to you for the next 45 minutes, whether you want to listen to him or not. Usually when he's talking my ear off, I pretend to listen. I'll throw in an "uh-huh", or some other type of non-verbal grunt to let him think I'm paying attention. When he told me how much he enjoyed our hour and a half conversation, it really made me think about how important it is to listen...even to the stuff that's not important to us. Every one of us wants to be heard. I know how it makes me feel if I'm trying to have a conversation with Aaron while he is watching boring golf, or football on t.v., and I get one of those grunts.
Now my desire to walk alone with just my music to keep me company doesn't seem as appealing anymore. I need to treasure this time I have with him, where our dialogue is this simple. In a few years we may be having discussions about his heart being broken, tests being failed, cars smashed, and how poor we're going to be after paying for his college tuition. Those don't seem nearly as fun as talking about his favorite part in Return of the Jedi, or if I think Yoda ever had a girlfriend.
I'm looking forward to my next walk with Mateo. I think I might even do some research, so I can add more to the conversation than a grunt. Oh, and by the way.....I can totally see Yoda with a Wookie as a girlfriend.