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The Art of Listening

“Mom, you’re doing it again.”



I was doing it again. I wasn’t listening. I find myself doing this more and more often lately, and he’s catching on. It’s rude. And I hate having it done to me. But, here I am.

Caught in the Act

I walk away from the computer long enough to sit and talk with him for a few short minutes, and find myself sneaking peeks at my phone while he’s talking to me. I don’t think he notices but he catches me every time. Even yesterday, when he asked me to come outside to watch him do some new “tricks” on his bike he had to ask me twice to put down my phone and just watch HIM. I promise to watch, and when he’s out of sight, my hand had a mind of its own… it began creeping towards the phone, slowly… methodically. Maybe he won’t see me. It’ll only take a second.

And then, I heard him.

“Unacceptable!” “Put Down The Phone NOW.” I’d been busted. I felt four years old; caught with my hand in the cookie jar. And here we are…in a standoff… me, my phone, and my kid.

Am I the only one that does this? Why is it so hard to just take the time to LISTEN.

I’ve realized that the time with my son is flying by and I’m not taking it in. I’m not rejoicing in it. I’m hiding from it. And, I know what it is.

I don’t want him to grow up.

There. I’ve said it. This is the first time I’ve actually said the words. I just really don’t want this to be happening as quickly as it is. I don’t like it and if I ignore him, it will go away…. Right? He’ll stay my little boy little forever and I won’t have to deal with the adult-ness of his words, his look, his thoughts, and his actions. Right? I’m shrinking in my chair now. I know it… reality has sunk in.

Why’d I say it aloud? It can’t be stopped. Kids grow up.

Just Stop and Listen

Today, I put down the phone. I logged off. I looked in his eyes and we laughed at his silly jokes. He told me about how much he loved his new haircut. He showed me his new tricks. And he told me how excited he was about his baseball game tonight. Then, I realized something. My little boy is still there. He’ll always be there. His voice is deeper and his words, more complex… but when I stop, and focus on just us….he’s that little boy, with the green eyes and that great big smile that makes my heart happy.

Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, a co-worker, a parent, or even a stranger… everyone just wants us to know we are engaged with them; that we’re listening, and that we care. So, the next time someone starts talking… just stop and listen.

You’ll be amazed what you hear.

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