Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It pays to be informed

I drive to school every day along a fairly congested surface street. There are several poorly-timed stoplights, where Rocco and I sit for one or two (or usually more) cycles. Sometimes we end up part of a truly modern phenomenon: a spontaneous, short-lived traffic community. When it happens, when we make a connection with Random Driver on Our Left, it's nearly always because Rocco is doing something cute. He has a sweet, flirtatious smile that gives the impression that it is only because he has seen You that he is interested in smiling, in fact, he's never smiled before, but You... You! are so wonderful that he's overcoming his natural shyness to give You the most genuine, innocent, slowly-spreading smile that has ever been given. He melts hearts, even in traffic. So, often, I'll realize he's flirting with someone in the next car and will catch the other driver's eye as they smile at Rocco or pantomime playing with him.

Sometimes the other driver will clearly be giggling at whatever odd object Rocco has decided he must clutch throughout the drive - a full-size Duke basketball, his ridiculously poofy winter coat, a wilted board book (upside down), a hat that he prefers to wear on his face instead of his head. Yesterday and today, I have to admit that I was hoping to avoid such an interaction. For some reason, Rocco has become obsessed with a booklet about the Mirena IUD that I brought home from an ob/gyn appointment. He turns the pages slowly and studies the diagrams and tables with a remarkably intent expression. I think it's funny, and tell myself that I'm doing my part as a modern mom to raise a male who will understand the importance of being educated about birth control; at the same time, I'd be just as glad if Rocco postponed any future traffic flirtations with the guys in the local waterproofing company's truck until he was done digesting the information.

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