listening-systemWhen I was in high school, we didn’t have cell phones. If we wanted to talk to someone, we had to fight everyone else in the house for the right to use the home phone. This might not sound like such a big deal. Maybe some of you had the same experience, but I was also the daughter of a doctor. There were a lot of important phone calls coming in and out of our house. There was no contest between a call from a boy I liked and a call from the hospital. If I was on the phone, I had to get off. Immediately. Logically, I knew the hospital should win, but emotionally, I resented it. In the moment, a call from a boy I liked was my whole world. Nothing else mattered.

I didn’t end up marrying any of the boys I had to rudely hang up on. My world didn’t actually shatter when I hung up the phone, but I still wanted my sacrifices to be recognized because they were sacrifices. Those ooey, gooey, stupid conversations were a big deal for me.

That’s why when I noticed this image on Pinterest, it struck a chord.

As a mom, I’ve noticed that many of the things that seem big to my sons are things I would have zero interest in on my own. If they want to talk about things like girls or getting bullied, I’m all ears. I know those things matter. It’s much more difficult to remember that things like: their latest video game adventure, the new way they learned to kick a soccer ball, the extra inch they can now clear while attempting a dunk, or the amazing the play they just saw on ESPN feel just as important to them. If I want to hear about the girls and the bullies, I need to emotionally invest in the video games, sports and other interests as well.

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