Listen When They Are Little
One summer when my kids were small they all conspired for my time seemingly every second of every day.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed. It was so hard to focus on each individual soul when 5 of them hovered in my orbit near constantly, telling elaborate stories and demanding, “Mom, look at me!” (For the love of all that is good and holy I AM looking.) And they just needed food at all hours and bandaids for invisible ouchies and just so much attention.
It quite frankly might have the beginning of me hiding in the closet. But I knew they needed me, so I came out and we devised a plan.
After dinner each night (and before that magical moment known as bedtime) I would go sit under the stars on the deck with a blanket.
And one by one each would come out to chat with me. We would set the timer for just 10 minutes while inside my husband kept the circus going. Undivided attention was there for them in the quiet.
They’d slip out the sliding door in their jammies and I’d lift the blanket and my baby would snuggle next to me and just talk and I’d listen.
Or we’d look at the stars, maybe sing a little twinkle twinkle with the two year old, listen to the boy talk about LEGO creations and nerf and hear the ins and outs of all the friendship of the girls.
I don’t remember the contents of most of these conversations. I do remember hurts shared and good things celebrated. I remember my quiet boy not even pausing for breath in those 10 minutes he had so much to say,
I remember knowing it was going so fast and that I’d never regret the time I was spending under the stars with my kids.
I now only wish I had it all on film to sit back and watch and wonder at.
But then, I really don’t need to because those talks became a part of us.
We’re mostly still good at talking. Even the tall ones still have lots to say.
The actions we take when they are little become a part of their very fiber.
We listen…and they become kids who tell us things.
We make the time for them…and they become kids who make time for us.
We pour our love into them…and they become loved people. And well loved people can love people well.
No small moment with our babies is ever wasted. Take a moment to leave the work behind and sit under the stars. You’ll never regret it.