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Kids say the darndest things.. but what if you're not listening?

At dinner tonight my DH was talking away about something and I suddenly got this strange feeling. I realized that while the two of us were deep in conversation, our dear children were completely tuned out. I looked at our daughter and she was decorating what was left of her enchilada with the rice on her plate. Our son was prepared for this, he'd snuck in two small Star Wars Lego figures, oh what are they called.. Stormtroopers, that's it! He was staging this big battle with them and the remaining food on his plate. I wondered how long the Firefighter & I had been talking about "grown-up stuff" and been totally oblivious to the sweet precious little lives we had sitting next to us. Tears came to my eyes as I thought of all the mommies out there who are wishing for just one more word from their baby..

It's the moments like these that we waste everyday. Adults so often see themselves and their discussions as important and what kids have to say as not as important. I said something about it to my honey and he said "but we just never get a chance to talk" and that is sad but true. I told him we really should make time for the two of us to talk, but we need to include the kids when we can too. He agreed and we started talking to them about their meal and what they were doing and what-not.
As an educator today, I see the sad decline of American literacy and wonder if it's from a lack of parents actually TALKING to their children. So many kids are plopped down in front of the tv and learn conversation from Sponge Bob (who I despise btw!) I know I know, we're all so busy, it's true. But I can remember the feeling that no one would listen to me when I was little and I remember how crummy a feeling it was too. I hope that my children don't feel that way too often. I know so many times they're rambling off about something they're excited about while I'm trying to do something and I'm not REALLY really listening and just nodding & saying my uh-huh's and I think about how that makes them feel. Poor things. I pray that God would make me more aware of these times and help me to find patience enough to listen to the stories of my children even after listening to the stories of other people's children all day. This is the only childhood they get, and my busy-ness, selfishness, and sense of importance makes an impact on them that I can't take back later on. The time to enjoy them is now. I don't want to be filled with regret later for mistakes I knew I was making.
So God, make me a better mother. You never tell me you're too busy for me or make me feel unimportant. Lead me to follow your example with my own children. Amen.
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