Mother and Sons ~ from Me to We
Sometimes boys want to talk about things that females are not so interested in. We agreed that often our eyes glaze over, or we get grossed out and just have no connection to the topics they are wanting to talk about.
But I remembered something I read a while back. It was about deeply connecting to my children to make them feel loved. It said the first thing I should do every morning when we first meet was to look deeply into their eyes, stop everything...give them my attention and love. Something about the way the author wrote that and it's impact on a child made me take it to heart and practice.
Today I was reminded of that.
Sometimes we have to FAKE IT TO MAKE IT.
I really want to connect to my 3 sons. I want them to *want* to talk to me and feel connected to me and that their world matters to me! Knowing what I want at the back end of this journey together...closeness, I have to fake interest sometimes. And to do so, I ask questions...trying to engage myself. I look them in the eye and take a moment with them. A little interest goes a long way. Sometimes I even do find a spot of interest for me and then...grace...efforts rewarded and genuine connections bless us.
Because if I don't take interest in them, they'll look for approval elsewhere. They'll come to see me as a roadblock, a dead end. "Don't go down that road it leads to no where...go somewhere else." I don't want what my disinterest will result in. It sends a message and disconnects us from one another.
My active listening will make our relationship better and that's ultimately what I want. In modeling that, I model to them that their interests matter and that they can have a relationship with a woman that respects their interests and HOPEFULLY it will lead them to model the same generous respect to others...perhaps to their future wife? When I make it not about me and my interest, it is my intention to not only make it about US and our parent/child relationship, but to encourage them to be the same "engager" to others. If not, then it's all about them. We must move past selfishness.
In all good relationships we must move from a ME mentality to a WE mentality. Finding a way to do so is a worthwhile venture, one to dedicate my attention to ... going above the snips and snails and puppy dog tails...
I really needed to remember that today and to re-embrace that. And what is that, in a nutshell? It's attention - giving myself over the act of listening in a bid to instill/model virtue. LISTENING is a lost art and a virtue of charity, generosity and selflessness. It belongs in family life and has no gender boundaries.
I thank those moms for reminding me and recommitting me to keep that end in mind!
Holy Family, +JMJ+, pray for us.