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Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My son asked me that today as we were driving to his sister's school to pick her up. He was telling me a story about how one of his friend's hurt his feelings this morning in class. I was paying attention to the traffic in front of me and humming to a song that was on the radio. I was listening to him, but certainly my attention was not completely directed towards him.

And he called me out.

I'm not going to lie. I don't always pay attention to my children. It doesn't make me a bad makes me a smart mother. I've perfected the art of ignorning a whining, crying child in a shopping cart while trying to wheel $200 worth of groceries through a packed Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon. I've become a professional at ignoring the bickering that goes on at the kitchen table during the school week when both children are supposed to be eating their oatmeal. I'm an expert at ignoring their begging and pleading to do something else when they know they should be cleaning their room or getting ready for bed. See, you really don't always have to hang onto every last word that comes out of your child's mouth. If I did, I would have had myself institutionalized by now.

My children receive all the love, attention and affection that they could ever possibly want. I sit and listen to their stories. I laugh at their silly knock-knock jokes. I ask them about their day and how they are feeling.

I do listen.

And, there are times when I don't listen -- when I choose NOT to listen. It's like a switch that I can flip on or off inside of my head. Just ask any mother and I'm sure she's probably got the same internal switch. It's like we have a mute button built into our brains. It's not the same as selective hearing that only seems to afflict men and dogs...our ability to know when to listen and when not to listen is far more sophisticated than that. As a mother, I (well, we) just know. And, even when we're choosing not to listen we really are still listening...we're just not letting it be known.

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Blogger Sarahlcc♥ said...

Hi, welcome to SITS girls! IT's not that we don't listen.......there's just so much going on at the same time, all the time. :-)

Mar 24, 2009, 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Lis @ ATruckerWife said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this. I would completely lose any sanity I have left.

Mar 25, 2009, 8:30:00 AM  

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