the most precious gifts we can give

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Yesterday morning I spent a few hours at the car dealership getting the oil changed.

My little one had asked to come with, but as she had a fun day of daycare and I had a few hours at a boring car dealership, I declined her bid and proposed that we take a bike ride after dinner instead. She gleefully accepted my proposal though I wasn’t sure if come days end, she’d remember 😉

Fast forward 10 hours and we’ve wrapped up dinner, the girls have watched a bit of the Olympics, and R says she wants to go for a ride. Its late, so we agree that it will be a short spin around the neighborhood.

On the way out the door, my sweet tooth kicks in and I whisper a question to R: “should we bike to the store and get a treat?”

R is no fool and wants to know what kind of treat to which I reply “chocolate, or ice cream” and then, fully taken with the vision, say the magic words: “or both” at which point R is completely on board with the scheme, grinning from ear to ear, her face full of joy and anticipation.

She brings her baby with, and after some deliberation decides that it can ride in the basket. We cruise a few blocks out of our way because the evening is so nice – warm but not stifling, with  just a hint of a breeze and at least for me, the realization that we’re starting the slide into winter and that soon this weather will be a distant and longed for memory.

And R talks. About everything. If you’ve ever been around a 4 year old, you’ll know what that means. If you haven’t. Well, its hard to explain, but it means that you hear an amalgam of everything that’s happened to them in the past few weeks, along with whatever they happen to see and focus on at the moment, plus whatever that seeing makes them think about. And R – she sees, and thinks, a lot.

To be honest, she’s a firehose, and I suspect that being a little sister, she often doesn’t get as much attention and “listened to” time as she’d like. As a raging extrovert, I can certainly relate.

So I listened. For 30 or so minutes, I did little to interject or steer her narrative flow. I just listened. And loved it.

And I recalled hearing from one of my many spiritual teachers that our time and our attention are the most precious gifts that we have to offer others because of how it feels to be with someone who’s really there with you, how it feels to be really listened to.

Who wants more of your time, your attention, your listening?

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