Robert, Rachel and I loaded up the dogs yesterday and took off on a chilly, squishy hike. Due to recent rains we slid more than we walked, but we soaked up the early spring air and watched the dogs bound manically through the woods.
Shortly after Rachel received her driver's license she broke one of the rules that Robert and I established, and rather than talking about it with us she clammed up. We told her that she would lose her driving alone privileges until she was ready to talk about why she had broken one of the rules. A week went by and we wondered why she hadn't said anything. Robert and I started dropping hints.
Another week went by and Robert's mom, Audrey, who is an important member of Team Rachel, dropped a few big hints, even directly asking her about it. Rachel still wasn't ready to talk. At this point Robert and I reached out to friends who are parents, and asked if we were doing the right thing by leaving this in Rachel's court, and they concurred. So we waited. And waited. And happily drove Rachel everywhere with these tiny thought bubbles above our smiling faces that implored, what the heck.
Finally after almost two months, Rachel tentatively brought up the topic of driving while we were on our hike yesterday. It took everything I had not to do a little dance. She was initiating communication with us about something huge! All on her own! And it was such a productive conversation!
This isn't going to be the last of tough conversations we'll have, and Rachel's probably going to break rules again, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully Rachel is figuring out that Robert and I are only marginally scary, in the sense that we are boring adults with high expectations. Hopefully she's closer to understanding that talking to us equates to more support for Team Rachel.
Here's a bit of magic from our hike:
One of my favorite trees, Redbud, which I used in pancakes and salads growing up
A bit of bloodroot lighting up leftover winter like a candle
As usual, the dogs greatly enjoyed the mud. Ella is giving me the 'stop that paparazzi nonsense' look.