listening.Posted: February 16, 2014
so i’m not running into this blog at full speed or anything… but, slow and steady – that’s all i’m aiming for at the moment.
my mom shared this with me several days ago and i just love it:
“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”
― Catherine M. Wallace
my nearly 6-month-old baby’s babbles have taught me more about listening than probably anything or anyone else before. whenever i give him a few overly-animated “hi”s (as well as “hey baby boy! hiiiiii!!!”), it is in the silence that follows, after i stop talking and just listen for a moment, that i hear the most wonderful sound – the returned “heh” from Beck’s sweet little smiling, one-toothed baby mouth. i mean, we have some pretty serious babbles at other times. some insanely high-pitched squeals and some belly laughs and some of what i suspect are very complex sentences (of course), but that little “hi/heh” interaction.. that’s my favorite. still, it requires my patience, and a quieted heart and mind, to really take it in. to enjoy it and not miss it. to not rush things along. as my baby grows, i am growing, too. as God allows Beck to mature, He is also maturing me into a mom who is learning to listen. and show grace. and nourish. and love. and also know that i am incapable of doing any of those things perfectly. ever. which is both a relief and a big bummer all at the same time.
i wish i could do things perfectly for him. but i can’t. i wish i could protect him from the toxins and the peer pressure. the media and the BPAs. all of it. but i can’t. this realization has been creeping up on me as i spend more time on an exciting food-related business project, too… this idea of letting go of perfection and learning to lean into any and every opportunity for simplicity and wholeness, and to keep at it even when it seems slow, and a bit too steady. in the moments while baby B naps or after he has gone to bed – or while he sits happily in his stroller at Whole Foods – i am working on creating food that embraces what is real, and whole, but also recognizes that there’s a place for sweets and fun and frivolity in our food. i have a pretty strong voice when it comes to how we eat, and i care about what we grow and cook, but i am also trying to listen. to myself and my family. to other families and communities. i believe that patience and listening are necessary in order to have productive dialogue about food… in order to create sustainable change. and so, i am working on a food project that encompasses this idea, entangling the creative with the compassionate, and the culturally-engaged with a refusal to sacrifice quality or taste. if you thought you knew what I was working on before.. well, it may be a bit different than you expect. anyway. before you’re left completely and utterly baffled at how i went from baby babbles to food justice and entrepreneurship (my brain. i’ll tell ya. it’s weird.), i will sign off.
…but did i get you all intrigued about the business? well, there’ll be more talk about it later. it’s sweet. but it’s healthy. i can tell you that much. so for now… keep listening : )