Last week though, something suddenly changed. We were driving home and I had done the usual telling him about my day / asking him what he had for lunch. Instead of the silence I usually get as a reply, he actually told me - chicken drumsticks with sauce. Then he told me about what he had done in class, and which teacher he likes the most.
I was so surprised that when we got home, I didn't want to get out of the car, for fear that the spell would be broken and he wouldn't continue. So, we just sat in the car for a while and chit-chatted. It was a moment I've wished for and hoped for. Finally, we got out of the car and went on with our day, just like usual.
I didn't expect it to happen again, and was just happy to have the memory. But to my surprise again, it keeps happening. Each day since he has been more chatty about his day, his thoughts on teachers, what his friends have been up to, etc. Instead of having to ask him questions and pulling conversation from him like teeth, he has been starting his own in-depth talks and asking me questions that lead to more talks. I don't know what has caused the shift, but it's been great!
I know it's not necessarily going to always be like this, especially once those teen years come around, but I'm so happy to know that we at least have this foundation. He's at his dad's this weekend, and I can't wait for the conversations that are to come when I pick him up from school on Monday.