I am my Mama’s daughter.
And yesterday evening, I could have sworn I heard my Daddy laughing over just that, and my Mama in her “pretending to be offended” tone telling him to “stop that right now.”
A moment that made me smile.
Folks told my Mama their stories. Friends. Family. Complete strangers. Especially complete strangers. (Actually I’m not sure she ever met one of those. She could talk to anyone, and she usually did.) In her they found a great listener with a compassionate heart and a gentle touch. A safe place to land with what was weighing on their minds.
I got a call back on my query about an item for sale yesterday. In a few short minutes, I learned why the call had not been made sooner and quite a bit about their family and the sadness in their hearts right now. Oh me. Such sweet and kind people, having to deal with the pain of losing someone they love. In those few short minutes, I heard their story and we became forever connected. Our stories intertwined.
After I got off the phone and was thinking of these folks, that was when I heard my Daddy laughing. He used to say, “That’s your Mama. She’ll talk to anybody. And they’ll tell her everything.”
Tonight I sat on the top bleacher enjoying the slight breeze as the sun faded away and Cooter tested his swimming skills and learned how to improve them. The breeze, the hushed sound of water splashing, and children playing.
There were other parents sitting close enough to strike up a conversation.
And many nights I have. It seems like the thing to do, you know?
But tonight I didn’t.
I hope they didn’t think I was rude. I chose instead to watch my swimmer boy and listen. To nothing. A quick sideglance told me one parent was working Sudoku puzzles and the other was on his phone. So maybe they never even noticed the lack of conversation. Or maybe they too were in need of it.
The quiet. (relatively speaking anyway)
This morning when I woke up, I lay there for a while. I was loath to get up and break the morning open. My soul needed the peace found only in the quiet and the listening. When I finally did get up and moving, the day was off with a bang and full of stories. Hard ones. With the occasional not so hard. But yeah. Mostly hard.
People are hurting all over, you know?
And they need someone to listen.
But sometimes it’s all too much. And every now and then I need not to listen to the stories. And instead I need to listen to the peace in the quiet. The calm. I need balance.
And as I sat there tonight, wonky waving every now and then to the little guy with the toothless grin (oh how sad will I be when he begins to wave like everyone else) to let him know, “I see you. Way to go. You are doing just fine–I’m proud of you for trying! Keep on keeping on,” I was listening.
And you know what I think I was hoping to hear–this just occurred to me right now.
Those exact same words. From the One who is always near, always wonky waving to me when I’m willing to notice.
“I see you.”
“You are doing just fine–I’m proud of you for trying!”
“Keep on keeping on.”
Oh the blessing in those words. The comfort. The assurance. That I’m on the right path. That maybe I haven’t veered off as far as I thought.
It’s not always easy, this journey, is it?
But as I turned to climb down off the bleachers, collect my boy, and head home, this is what I saw, waiting, wonky waving at me, this child who needs to be seen. Who needs the peace and comfort that comes with the “I see you–you are doing okay.”
And tonight I’m thankful for this. And for all the wonky waves I get. I am loved. Sometimes I just need to be reminded.
Love and wonky waves to all.