Sunday, January 1, 2012

To Listen AND To Hear

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lis-ten   [lis-uhn] verb
1. to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
hear   [heer] verb

1. to perceive by the ear:
2. to learn by the ear or by being told; be informed of: to hear news.
3. to listen to; give or pay attention to

I had a completely different posting started last night that I wanted to write for New Years... but I got too tired and figured I would finish it today...

Well, then today happened... and I am writing a completely new posting because of an epiphany that I had about this New Year. So I guess I will finish that posting in a few days...

Now it is late again and I am tired, so I hope this will make any sense... but it makes sense in my head...

Once in a while when I am putting Aaron Jr to bed, if it is not too late... I will say to him, "let's talk". Then each of us will talk about something that is on our mind. I have always been able to tell that he loves it... then it reached a point where I didn't have to say it anymore and he would be the one to say, "let's talk".

Well, it hasn't happened for a while, these past couple of months have been crazy busy and bed time has been a whirlwind most nights instead of ... early.

A couple of days ago, when I was putting Aaron to bed, he said to me again, "let's talk"... I couldn't resist that, so we talked.

Then today on the way home from church (we went to listen to a cousin report on his mission in Salt Lake), we were riding with Aaron's parents, so I was sitting in the back seat with Aaron Jr. Well, he was super talkative and wanted to tell us all about a show that he likes to watch on TV. I realized that I don't take the time often enough to just sit and talk with him and really LISTEN to and HEAR him. I am usually driving if we are in the car and I am paying attention to the road or whatever else... then when we are at home, I am trying to get stuff done, so sitting in the back seat with him when I had nothing else going on, I realized again how much I LOVE to watch and listen to him talk.

As I watched and listened to him talk... I realized that I need to take the time to talk with him more often and truly LISTEN to and HEAR him. Aaron has reached an age where he knows when I am really listening or if I am saying 'uh huh' as I am concentrating on something else. I am ashamed to say that I do that, but sometimes I do. I tend to forget that LISTEN and HEAR are action words... and I need to put them into action way more often.

I can be selfish sometimes... this week has been packed full of cousin time for Aaron Jr. He has been in heaven. Well, as cousin time has slowed way down, Aaron Jr has been talking again about how much he wishes certain cousins of his were his brothers and sisters. The reason I say that I am selfish sometimes is because I get wrapped up in my own loneliness and sometimes forget to think about how lonely Aaron Jr is. I do think about it a lot. But I guess not often enough. When I pray at night asking Heavenly Father to send someone amazing to be a wonderful husband for me and an amazing father for Aaron Jr, I am thinking of both of us... but there are times during the days when I forget how lonely Aaron Jr must be.

I grew up in a family of 11 kids. They were my friends. There was always someone to talk to, someone to play with... so I can only try imagine what Aaron Jr is feeling as he grows up with nothing like what I had. Anyone who knows me and has heard me vent about life knows how much I wish I had at least one more kid so that Aaron Jr had a brother or a sister... but since that is not the case, I realized today that I could do more to help remedy his loneliness. Why should both of us be lonely when I have the power to remedy his loneliness? (Although I am not as fun as a brother or a sister would be when it comes to doing kid stuff.)

The last thing I want for him is to feel lonely as he grows up. These should be happy and carefree years for him... years where he feels loved and wanted and important. It is just us... so if I am not LISTENing to him and HEARing him... then he has no one.

So, my goal for 2012 is to LISTEN to and to HEAR Aaron Jr better.

The best way to show Aaron how much he is loved and how important he is to me... would be for me to LISTEN to and HEAR him. Plus, as I thought about this today, I realized how much I might miss out on if I don't try harder to do this. It is actually amazing how profound children can be... there is a lot that Aaron Jr could be teaching me with what he has to say.

"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention."  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

So this is a way I plan to be better in 2012.

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The Walkers said...

You are amazing. I have followed your blog for quite a long time. A couple of months ago my daughter passed away suddenly leaving her husband and 3 children. The noise of greif is deafening. Thank you for the reminder to listen, but mostly to hear. I have heard the confusion and the noise but have not taken the opportunity to hear what is being said. I need to hear. I need to hear the voices of my family as well as the voice that is still a quiet inside me. Thank you for the reminder. I do not know you but consider you a friend because I always receive strength from you. I love you for your wisdom and insight. Thanks

Mindy said...

Oh, how I need to do this! Really listen and hear my children. Beautiful post. :)

Kristi said...

I need to be better at this as well. I am always amazed how fun it is to play with our kids when I actually take the time to do it. I cherish those good conversations with the kids when I am "all in". I like your resolution.

Leah said...

Beautiful post. Something I need to do more of with my kids. Thanks for the reminder. Beautiful blog btw...your son is lucky to have you!