During a phone call, my friend Steve apologized when his nine year old son interrupted our conversation.  What was remarkable to me was that Steve took the time to listen attentively to his kid even though what he was reporting was beyond trivial.  No need to apologize, I said, the time you take now encouraging your kid to share even the mind-numbingly boring stuff will pay later.

That night on email:

Steve:  "That talkative third grader of mine just got done telling me about what
a huge poop he just had. I'm trusting you that his communication is a
good thing. You are the PRO!!!"

Me:  "Sometimes it's tmi, I know, but in my experience with communication with my kids it's like the old timers sifting riverbeds for gold.  For every 100 big poop stories you will get one bright gleaming gem that is worth it all.  My jaw drops in disbelief at how our almost sixteen year old will, out of nowhere, share with us his inner thoughts or volunteer how his day went without prompting.  And we haven't heard a big poop story for a few years now."

Being a pro has nothing to do with it. Especially when I remember all the detailed plots of Sponge Bob episodes I heard while internally gritting my teeth.  True love gives us the strength.