I recently had a conversation with my mom that really made me stop and think. I had been sharing some of my parenting frustrations with her regarding the boys, and she said something entirely unrelated that made something click in my head: I’ve stopped listening to my kids. Sure, I "hear" Ben or Isaiah, but I’ve forgotten to listen, to really hear what it is they are telling me. It was one of those "aha" parenting moments where I just kind of sat back and thought for a while. I am not sure where it started. Maybe it’s just the fact that three noisy toddlers will create quite a din that you almost have to learn to tune out the nonsense, like when they are arguing over who stared at who first, or which dinosaur growled the loudest. But I kind of stopped listening to them when they were trying to tell me something important, like how they felt about a situation. I had kind of forgotten that Ben is going through a huge transition into school. Forgotten isn’t the right word. I know on an intellectual, emotional mommy level that he is going through a transition. But I failed to let Ben tell me that he was going through a huge transition. Forgot to hear his heart.
The thing is, when I stop to listen to the kids, I see and hear things that I would totally fail to notice on my own, or even pay attention to. But to a child, these things are huge momentous events. And you know what? I think they’re right. They see mountains and rivers in a piece of sidewalk, universes in a single cloud formation. It’s almost as if they truly see the big picture. They have an amazing sense of wonder about the little things. I want to remember that. I want to see the little things for what they truly are: a necessary and vital piece in a bigger puzzle that is glorious and wonderful. And that includes really listening to my kids.