I was reading a book in bed the other night when I heard JJ calling our dog to come get her treat. He was actually luring Chelsea to her doggie bed.
Daisy, our beagle, was already outside doing her business, anticipating the reward of a doggy biscuit if she obediently came back inside and went straight to her bed. However, Chelsea, our thirteen-year-old daschund, was in la-la land. Sound asleep in her chair, nothing was going to get her to budge. Not even the promise of a treat.
I wondered if Chelsea had perfected her “selective hearing” skills (knowing it was bedtime) or if she’s going deaf. I had a feeling it was the latter.
Once the dogs were tucked in bed, we laughed about how Chelsea used to hear every little thing. If the wind blew a leaf outside our front door she barked.
Andrew (my almost 10-year old) came to my bedside to kiss me goodnight. With a concerned look in his eyes, he said, “Mom, I hope when you get old you don’t go deaf like Chelsea.”
I laughingly told him that when I’m as old as Chelsea, it might be good if I can’t hear everything. She gets a lot more sleep than she used to, and I love to sleep! She also doesn’t hear when we laugh at her, and it might be good if I don’t hear their jokes about me either.
My light response didn’t wipe the concern off his brow, so I asked why he was afraid I won’t be able to hear him.
“Well, sometimes you don’t hear me now. Like when you’re on the computer and I ask you a question, sometimes you don’t hear me.” He answered without hesitation.
(Ouch!) I was not expecting that answer. I almost plunged into a “bad mommy” moment. My child thinks I can’t hear him. I felt bad because in my heart, although I may be deeply distracted, I know that I hear him but I don’t always listen.
Instead of going on a guilt-trip, I pulled Andrew close to me and told him I was sorry for not listening sometimes.
I didn’t want him to fear that old age might make it worse. So, I explained how me being on the computer is similar to when he’s watching a good movie or playing video games. He gets all involved, almost like he’s in another world, and sometimes he doesn’t hear other noises, like me calling him for dinner. He nodded with understanding.
Then I made a promise I really want to keep. “I am going to try really hard to stop what I am doing when you come to me, look away from my computer screen and really listen to what you are saying. You’re more important than emails, work, or anything I do on the computer. What you have to say matters to me! I love you and I want to hear you.”
That night God showed me another gift I can give to my kids and my husband this Christmas. It doesn’t cost money. It doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time. I give the gift each time I stop what I am doing, look up when I hear their voices, turn my attention toward them, and simply listen.
The gift of listening… it’s another way I can give more of me this Christmas.
Another Christmas Give-Away
I’d love to hear a funny or heart-touching story of how someone you love left a fingerprint on your heart like Andrew did with me last week. Post your name and/or a thought in the comments section to be part of my next Christmas give-away:
- Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. This is my favorite mini-devotional book. It’s is the sweetest appetizer to my time in the Word. It draws me close to Jesus’ heart and helps me listen for HIS voice each day.
Click on the word “comments” to share a story (or just your name and email) to enter. I’ll do the drawing Wednesday night (now Thursday… I didn’t think I’d get to do the holiday home tour this week but I DID!! I am extending the drawing to Thursday so there are more potential winners). Also, I have another give-away this weekend! Fun, fun, fun!