SOLSC: Stop and Listen

I made myself stop and listen. Yes, I hear the birds tweeting outside, but it was the tired amble of my youngest as he came into the room that made me listen.

You see, my youngest is not the verbalizer that his older two siblings are. He’s quiet, reflective, and in general does not expound on his thoughts. He listens. He watches. He participates in conversation when he feels his thoughts are important. It’s not that we don’t value our youngest. He just admires his older brother and would rather listen to his stories than share his own.

I was in the middle of posting a SOLC comment when my youngest came in. I forced myself to look up, smile, and stop typing. It was just a second, but that acknowledgement nudged a conversation, a conversation I am so glad we shared!

“What’s up, Tim?” I asked when he walked in to the kitchen. He shrugged his shoulders. I wanted more than that, so I persisted. “Tired?” I prompted. He nodded. Okay, another try. “Did you enjoy last night? What was your favorite activity last night?” At this, Tim sat on the stairs and smiled, “Basketball, but do we have anything to eat?” I smiled. Yes, food, but his answer was too short for my liking. His two siblings were gone and my husband was at work; it was just the two of us.

“Okay. I want to finish this SOLC comment and then we can go to Subway and I can hear all about last night?,” I proposed, hoping to intrigue him into more conversation. I really wanted to know what he did at the all night youth event. Tim nodded and I finished my thought.

I could have made the sandwiches, but I wanted to seize the moment. I know that Tim knows that I get distracted by doing things, and then I know that he will just forget and move on and I would miss this interaction.

Eating Subway sandwiches, Tim shared about his night, the band, the laser tag, what he liked and who he hung out with. He had time with his older brother and was engaged with friends. He had a great time (yeah!).

And because I stopped and listened,

I had the best listening lunch date with my youngest!


10 Responses to SOLSC: Stop and Listen

  1. Precious moment. And the way you told it showed how you set up the tension between wanting to know more about his night and trying to find the right way to get it out of him.


  2. Linda Baie says:

    You are one attuned mom. It’s so hard to take the time when all are so busy, but you did & had such a nice reward. Those little moments are sweet. Nice to read!

  3. Tam says:

    It’s good to have alone time with each kid. Your Subway approach really made it possible–away from everthing else.

  4. elsie says:

    These moments seem to be too few in our lives. I’m glad you noticed (of course you noticed, you’re a writer) and took the opportunity to talk. Now it’s written and can be remembered forever. Lovely!

  5. Tara says:

    You have to set things aside when they’re ready for you, I’ve learned, for the moment may not present itself again….and you’ll always remember it, even though the laundry is folded, the papers are corrected, the slice is posted. Good for you that you took the time…

  6. the other ruth says:

    So glad you shared this. We try to get some time alone with each kid from time to time, but your post made me realize it’s been a while. Maybe tomorrow will be a “date with a kid” day.

  7. What a special, yet ordinary, moment for you and your son. Your slice is rich with great verbs too- amble, expound,nudge. I was hoping you would include details from his night…and you did! I am so glad he had fun AND you made time to be hear all about it.

  8. Carol says:

    These special moments seem like they get fewer and farther between, the older my boys get. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  9. JenniferM says:

    Cute post! I like how you crossed out the yes/no question to show how you tried to ask something that would get him to share more with you. Lunch dates are a great way to build relationships — my mom and I love our lunch dates when there’s a day off school!

  10. Taking the time to stop and listen is so vital to the cultivation of loving relationships. Thank you for sharing your lunch date with us. It reminded me of what I need to work on 🙂

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