As I’ve mentioned recently, it’s safe to say that at age 36, I am who I am. The quirks, traits, and possibly even fates are likely sealed and determined.  But after a very special and life-changing trip last week to a foreign country, (a trip in which I cannot talk about until April 2013, but am BURSTING at the seams to share), I have a little more drive to “fix myself…” To be better. To feel better. To heal. And to accept the things I cannot change….

It’s amazing what a little perspective and time away can do…

Everyone has something they wish they were better at, so I know I’m not alone in the quest for self improvement and evolution. In fact, it seems that my very own 5 year old is in a state of self discovery and trying to work out some of his own shortcomings… Truth be told, I’m sort of spearheading this effort…

The struggle du jour, or month, seems to be listening…. Asking Jonah to listen THE FIRST TIME…  You need to listen. You’re not listening to me. I’m yelling because you’re not listening. You will get what you want but you need to listen. I’m walking away because you’re not listening to me…. And on. And on. And on.

Combine the not listening with his general poop and fart talk, (that I’ve tried to explain only kills with the other 47″ tall crowd), and my patience is pretty much gone and DONE. I turn into the mom I never want to be with fury I hate to have.

Yesterday, we had a “battle of the listening” just trying to get his teeth brushed before school. On our walk to school, (which lately seems to be the only part of the day that he fully listens, engages, and refrains from the 5 year old behavior that makes me want to pull my hair out), I seized the opportunity to talk about how listening makes things easier, and what are the things we can do to “help” each other and things we can work on….  After he told me all the things, he wished I would change (LOL), he said:

J:  Mommy, I’m going to try to do better. I promise.
Me: I’m so happy to hear that. I’m going to try to do better too.
J: You know what else I’ve been trying to work on?
Me: What’s that?
J: Basketball.
Me: Basketball?
J: Yeah. Everyday at recess, my friends and I play basketball. But they’re all better than me. And I’ve never made a basket.
Me: That’s okay. You will. You just have to keep trying.
Me:  If you want, we could sign you up for basketball, just like TBall, and then you can learn a little bit more and it might help you.
J: Nah. I don’t need lessons…. Because I’m not going to be a basketball ball player when I grow up.
J: What’s the scientist that does stuff with rocks and space and rocks and volcane-noos?
Me: Geologists…?
J: Yeah. I’m going to be that…. Mommy, when you were little, what did you tell your friends when they asked what you wanted to be?
Me: I told them I wanted to be an actress... Do you know what an actress is?
J: Can you remind me?
Me: It’s someone you see on shows… in the movies or on TV…
J: I saw my Grandpa on TV once.
Me: Yes. But he’s not an actor.
J: I know. He’s only a lawyer.

I guess the point is… we can both be whoever and whatever we want. Whatever it is, and however we’ll be, we just need to try to be good and happy doing it. And patient. Change takes practice…. And definitely, definitely the ability to listen.

FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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