Friday, October 7, 2011

mommy time

It is not reasonable, nor is it healthy, for one child to have all of mom's undivided attention, ALL of the time.

But it is reasonable, and healthy, to make sure each child gets mom's undivided attention, some of the time.

Don't get me wrong, I love my large family.  I see every day how the brothers and sisters are good for each other.  They give each other thousands of opportunities for social interaction, teach each other life lessons early and often, and in many ways, help round out some of the rough edges of each personality.  (Sometimes a gentle rounding-off, sometimes more of a chopping-off, but you get the general idea.)

We all are good for each other.  I love when we are all together, and our love and energy naturally pours out into chaotic talking, teasing, laughing, and playing.

But listening?
Around here, it is not so natural.

It is hard for me, not only for the children.
It is hard for me to patiently hear a child recount the story read at school, reenact the fall off the monkey bars, or give me an update on everybody's runny noses...especially when all of these stories are entering my ears at once.

I want to be a mother who listens. I want my children, each child, to have some time they can count on when I am really "all ears."  After all, if they can barely manage to get my attention with a big loud story about dodge ball, how will they ever get me to hear the more quiet struggles in their little hearts?

There are logistical hurdles to work out, but I am going to try to come up with some ideas.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Father, I am so used to using my hands to serve these children.  
Teach me make them stop moving sometime, that I may also love them with my ears.

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