Friday, March 1, 2013

What I Heard From My Mother

Connor's swim team buddies at last night's swim dinner.  (Thanks to Cara for the fun picture!)

The Post was motivated by the BlogHer "Listen to Your Mother Tour."  Found out a little too late!

I was born determined; some may have called me "spirited."  I knew what I wanted and certainly wasn't interested in anyone else's opinions/advice on the matter.  My mother, bless her heart, tried to tame my inner spunk.  During my adolescence, she flooded me with words of wisdom.   Most of the time I didn't listen.  Her words were not my words after all.  

I may not have listened, but I heard.

I haven't scanned the Webster's Dictionary, but in my world hearing and listening are different.  Listening is the physical act of perceiving sounds.  Hearing is soaking in words, phrases, and concepts.  Sometimes hearing doesn't involve one iota of noise, but rather relies on observation.

I heard my mother say many things during my childhood.

I heard my mother say I was important.  

She certainly showered me with words of affirmation and compliments during my childhood, but I learned I was important by her actions.  At every game, match and award ceremony, I could just glance up in the stands and see my mother perched on a bleacher.  She carved out time in her schedule to serve as my biggest cheerleader.  She made time for the things that were important and I was important to her.

I heard my mother say I was special.

Special is different from important.  Special appreciates the qualities in an individual that are unique.  My mother appreciated my uniqueness.  She encouraged me in my individual path by providing all the lessons, tools, and affirmation I needed to move forward.

I heard my mother say I was loved.

We were(are) a family that frequently tosses out the phase "I love you."  Rarely, the sun set without my mother uttering those words.  But I learned she loved me by how she responded to me.  The days when I was anything but lovable, she still treated me with kindness, gentleness, and warmth.  She showed me unconditional love (love that certainly wasn't merited by a cantankerous, mouthy teenager).

Years later, I'm grateful I didn't listen to my mother, but heard her voice loud and clear. 

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