They Listen and So Should I

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It was a hectic night like most bath nights. Wrangling three kids to bathe long enough to get completely clean but not so long that it takes forever. You know the fine line here. By the time they were ready for bed, I was done. Well done. Like burnt steak kind of done. I couldn’t listen to “but just one more…” any longer!

listen

Since they have had less of a morning routine during the pandemic, we have let them sleep together, and this night was no exception. But this night was different than all other nights. On this night, the sleeping configuration was the two older girls on the floor in my son’s bedroom while he slept in his bed – lucky duck! We have been in the midst of this pandemic for over three months, and this is the first time they had this sleeping configuration.

Like most nights, I laid down with my youngest. You know how it is – we try to cuddle with our baby for as long as they will let us.

This is where the listening began as I pretended to sleep.

Back up with me for a moment. Many of us complained about distance learning, but one thing I learned was the power of listening in and eavesdropping on their classes. In this day and age, as parents, we do not have the opportunity to see our children as students in the classroom. However, through this form of learning, we were able to get a glimpse of that part of their lives.

Eavesdropping on religious school Zooms was completely different than regular school. My oldest seemed to have had the hardest time with it. I mean, she IS 11.5-years-old going on 16. She has started to develop that hard, teenage exterior. Listening and watching her body language during religious school Zooms concerned me. She always tried to convince me she wasn’t learning anything. I listened and was worried that she was right.

Fast forward back to this night. It has been over a month since the religious school year ended. While pretending to sleep with my son, I listened. The sound was beautiful. My oldest was singing the songs she claimed to have not learned or listened to in religious school. Her sister eventually joined in as well.

My kids have absorbed so much more than they want me to know, and I am proud of them for that. I am also proud of myself for pretending to be asleep so I could listen in and absorb more about them than they probably want me to know. I tell my kids all the time they need to be quiet and listen to what I have to say. I need to flip this more often. I need to be quiet and just listen to their beautiful voices which can be sweet as honey when I allow myself to take it in.