Occasionally participants in my classes give me gifts–tokens of appreciation for the learning experience they’ve enjoyed. My feeling is these gifts should be shared with everyone, because the experience would not have been what it was without the input and open hearts of everyone in the group.
And sometimes, an unintended gift is given, and that needs to be shared, too. And so it was recently when a mom made the quiet comment that she had stopped doing all email and computer work in the evenings and on weekends. “It works for my family” was her humble statement. She went on to explain that she took up knitting and now hangs out with her kids, quietly present in the room with them, practicing “closet listening”. She described a tender connection that hadn’t been there before, in the days when that time was spent responding to email and continuing her day job at home. I was intrigued. I don’t have a day job, but I still spend a lot of time at the computer, and many is the time I only half-listened to Ben as he tried to tell me something that was really exciting/important to him.
I was intrigued, but could I DO it? Could I stay off the computer from 3:30 until 8:30 p.m. every day, and all day Sunday (Ben is at his dad’s on Saturday)? Ben didn’t think so, and I took that as a challenge. He’s a smart kid.
And the biggest surprise is that it it hasn’t been hard to do. I’m fairly sure Ben doesn’t get nearly as much from it as I do. I love the “hang time” with Ben. The deeper connection leads to hearing more of his thought processes, and insight to his emotions. And for me personally, it’s been so liberating. It gives me space to slow down, read a magazine, or do a crossword. I’m listening to music more, recharging my battery, nourishing my soul.
And you just can’t put a price on that. Thank you, Maria, for a gift that will be with me forever, and that will be shared over and over again. Blessed are the many families whose lives may be changed by your precious gift.