"Fine," Jacobi says.
"What happened today?" I ask.
"What'd you have for lunch."
"C'mon, dude. Something exciting must've happened."
"Well let me tell you what I did today, then maybe you can tell me something."
This is the tricky part. I rack my brain, trying to find something that happened during the day. Nothing comes to mind. Everything is blank. I spent my entire day thinking of what I'd do after work, leaving me with a morass of jumbled thoughts and ideas. Do I tell him about the fifteen customers I sold something to? Do I tell him about the episode of "Sunny" I watched at lunch? Do I tell him about that thing I forgot to order or about the deck package I helped load?
My entire day blends together in my mind, a mess of activity, and what's worse, it's all sort of mediocre. So why do I expect something more from my son?
I've been asking myself this question a lot lately. I ask Jacobi how his day was because I'm genuinely curious. I missed him and couldn't wait to see him. I'm always excited to hear about the things he got to do without me, and it usually bums me out when he doesn't want to share.
But what I've slowly discovered is if the roles were reversed (and they often are when Jen asks me how my day was), I have next to nothing to say. "It was fine." "I had a crappy day." "Today was good." Most of the time when she asks if I want to talk about it, I say no. Why? Because right now I'm at home, with my wife and child, and the whole evening is ahead of us. Why on earth would I want to talk about what already happened?
I've noticed Jacobi doesn't tend to dwell on the past (although he sure keeps mentioning that light that got fixed four weeks ago). Most days, Jacobi deals with what's right in front of him. He doesn't worry about the stuff he did at school or even the day before, because RIGHT NOW he has something new and exciting in front of him.
Some might just call this a short attention span, but I call it an opportunity to learn an important lesson from my son. The most important thing right now, is that we're together, moving forward. What happened while we were apart isn't as significant as the things we could be doing when we get home or when we stop by the park or a hundred other activities.
I'm not going to stop asking him about his day, but maybe I'll be a little more specific. If he doesn't want to talk, we can simply figure out what we're going to do next.