Okay, look past my nostrils, the bad lighting and the lack of photo editing and hear this…
My heart is full of Jesus Joy at what’s happening here.
First, let me say – I’m exhausted!
The best kind of tired that comes from doing meaningful work. Work that pushes you to give more than you may have thought you had and brings out some of the best in you. I was eager for shorty to get home – I mean, it WAS his first last day of school – but exhausted from, well, I’m not exactly sure.
I didn’t eat all of the meals and calories and got emotional in the middle day in a safe place about a bunch of stuff that I didn’t think was there. And I was then feeling frustrated with myself for feeling those things and dropping those plates, but still had work tasks to tackle and some real good listening to do.
I’d come home, grabbed my favorite snack (Popcorn & Thieves) and some juice and plopped down on the floor at the top of the stairs that lead people into our humble apartment. I figured that there, I’d not miss him and he would know that I was “waiting up” in a sense.
He let himself in – like he always does – and then yelled from the bottom of the stairs just inside the door – like we always do – and he climbed the stairs to see me. He was not surprised to see me on the floor but was encouraged to see that even though he could tell that I was tired, that I was ready to listen.
I stopped and put down all devices – even my popcorn – to put my eyes and ears on him.
And it was just wonderful.
He shared his heart.
About his teachers, the ways that they introduced themselves. The ways that they had the students introduce themselves to one another. The classes he knew he might enjoy (because there was no homework) and the ones that he knew would pose a struggle (because it’s a language class & he’s the ONLY senior in it!). It was great to talk about his hopes for building relationships and hear about inside jokes and reconnecting with old friends. His happiness at being reunited with the school pizza for lunch. His excitement at knowing that he is going to be challenged in his art portfolio class, but hearing his faith that he is up to the challenge.
He talked. And talked. And talked some more.
And I listened. And asked questions. And I listened some more.
Somewhere in our hour of debriefing we took a break to call a dear friend of his for his birthday to which I heard him say – wait for it – I’m going to get off the phone and go and talk to my mom some more. And – he – did!
He came back and laid on the floor to talk some more – which is when I snuck this shot – and I just fell more in love with God because of the gifts in this shared moment. For the both of us. It was truly such an encouragement to my heart to see the bond that I’ve prayed and prayed for as I’ve been practicing letting him go. And though I was tired, I was determined to be alert and attentive enough to let him know that what he was saying was so important to me.
His insights were beautiful.
His jokes were funny.
His concerns were legitimate.
And then, he asked me about my day.
I’m telling you. This parenting thing is hardly ever easy, but when it pays out – it pays out huge.
Share a moment when you’ve been filled with joy from simply listening to someone you love.