How many times have we told our children to put on their listening ears? I bet hundreds. I bet hundreds of thousands. I know I have. Unfortunately most of the time these elusive special ears seem to be M.I.A. Perhaps they are hidden in the toy box, or are collecting dust under their beds? I'm not quite sure, I just know that when they really need them, they are usually hard to find. What I have realized lately is that I have to remind myself to put on my own listening ears. So often I find myself nodding vaguely, mumbling "uh huh, yeah" to whatever the children have just asked me. Is it the persistent "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom" that we hear minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day that causes us to eventually tune it out. I yell at the kids when they ignore me, but I find myself ignoring them just as much.
"Mom, can we tie sheets onto ourselves and jump off the roof" they might be asking, while I peruse Facebook, talk on the phone, balance the checkbook and check the e-mail all at the same time. "Uh huh, OK, sure." I'll answer. "Mom, can we build a sparkly helium balloon and take off in it across the town?" they'll ask and I'll probably answer "uh, huh, just a minute" while I unload the dishwasher, fold laundry and start dinner. One of these days I'm going to get in trouble, if I don't find my damn listening ears.
I can hear it now. "Mom, can we take the car and joyride around town driving way too fast picking up all our friends?"
No, then again, I think THAT is one request I'll most definitely hear.