8 year old girls are kind of funny. Well, at least mine is. She seems to talk incessantly, about what ever is running through her head at the moment. Sometimes she challenges me with some of the most thought provoking questions but most of the time she is narrating her way through life. She does not talk to anyone in particular but comments on whatever she is doing, asks her self questions and always says, "hey, mom, wanna know what I just thought of?"
Little guy on the other hand is the exact opposite. He is quiet and thoughtful. On the drive to school I would catch him looking out the window, completely silent and would question if he was okay. He would do his best impersonation of his older sister's eye roll and reply with a giggle, "I'm just looking' out the window!"
There is one place that I can count of both of the kids to sit down and hold a conversation that is completely relaxed, unstaged, and for the sake of being truthful distracted enough to be meaningful. The dinner table is our usual talk to place but the real business of meal time is to chow down which makes talking somewhat cut short and watered down. To really catch all the good stuff, the feelings, hopes and some extra cuddle time we sit around the camp fire. It is really amazing how the glow of the fire sets an environment that makes everyone including children relax. Stories are shared, songs are sung, plans are made. I get to find out little tid bits about their lives that they forget to share in the business of day to day life that seem to just sneak their way out as the flames dance. I learn who is mean at school and who is nice. I get to hear about what they think about things that they have heard others, mostly Dad and I, discuss between adults. I get a chance to see them for who they are when they let their guard down and have no distractions and no one around. The great thing is, I like what they let me see. Campfires are a pretty great way to bond with family and learn about one another. Not only that but campfires make really good food which leads to the fall back place of conversation, the dinner table.