Listen to the sounds of your family: the battery-powered Hess helicopter and accompanying utterances of “cool” by your son; the gentle foot taps of your featherweight eldest daughter, upstairs, forever practicing her emboites; the breathing of your slightly congested younger daughter, sitting beside you on the bed watching Caillou as you type; the door opening and your Sweetie tapping his boots against the sill to dislodge the snow.
Listen to your children. Listen to them playing and dancing and living beside you. Also, listen for their hopes and fears. Listen for their pride and their uncertainty. Listen to know when they need you and when they want only to share with you. Listen with your ears and your eyes and your body. Listen especially with your arms wrapped around them and your lips to their foreheads.
Listen to your Sweetie. Listen to the reports of his day. To his daily offerings of the weather forecast. To the sound of him stirring your coffee every morning. (Then listen to his footsteps as he delivers it to you, wherever you are in the house.) Listen for the Sweetie of 14 years ago. The one you fell in love with, in that perfect, indelible instant that changed your life forever. Listen for his pride and his wisdom and his utter calm, always. Listen to know when he needs you and when he wants only to share with you. (Listen to know the difference.) Listen with your eyes and your ears and your soul. Listen especially with your body wrapped tightly around his.
Listen to know how much you have. In this home. In this life. This family. Listen for the love. The promise. The creativity and intelligence and humanity that make up your every day. Listen to all of it. To every morsel of sound and silence, all adding up to the feast that is a few moments of your rich, rich, filled-to-the brim life.
Listen to it all.
Jen Writes, three kids