I remember an encounter I had with my middle son when he was in high school. It was one of those moments when a child you have birthed, nose wiped, diaper changed, clean skinned knees, forced green peas into and monitored curfew, makes such a profound statement of truth or clarity that you are blown away that he or she is actually YOUR child.
If you are a parent, you know what I mean. A moment that causes a song to pop into your head and you feel you should walk slowly towards a window singing its tune.
Where is the little girl I carried…..Where is my little boy at play…?…I don’t remember growing older……When did they?????
Anyway. In this particular discussion, my son wanted to get an earring. YEP….my SON! I was outraged and mortified. I began to imagine him sitting on the back of a motorcycle wearing black leather with a beer in one hand, a knife in the other and a toothpick drooping from his mouth.
We had a long and heated debate. I say “debate” but I did most ALL of the talking so “debate” may not be the correct word. I eloquently shared about the depth of darkness one can fall into when stepping into the sinful world of men and pierced ears! Lord help us!!
The disagreement continued for weeks until one day, I don’t remember WHY (he probably will and I am sure it will not be a positive reflection of my parenting skills) we ended up in a heap of raging emotions sitting on the steps of our home. I was screaming and yelling my passionate reasons for his quick slip into the pit of Hell. He was quietly shut down which just made me madder.
When I confronted him about his unwillingness to actually DISCUSS the issue…to TALK to me about why he was so adamant about getting an earring, he shot back these words at me…
“Mom, you are trying to communicate with a non-communicator”
I had studied personality types with Florence Littauer and the team from CLASS for many years. I even taught workshops about this stuff called “The Family Zoo” for heavens sake. I know about how one personality is bent towards the rolling flow of constant conversation (ME, my older son) while another is more thoughtful and wants to measure every word for it’s impact and target point (My Son)(And my Husband and daughter, no less).
That day came to my mind this morning as I contemplated before the Lord a communication issue that is on my prayer list. A challenge I am having about something I am trying to say. Something I am trying to have understood and to understand.
I will never forget the lesson my son reminded me of that day.
Don’t just think about what YOU want to say Mom.
Think about what I HEAR when you say it.
My son did get that earring. Surprise, he did not join a cult or get a motorcycle. As a matter of fact, the thrill of it all wore off within a few months.
However, those words of wisdom never wore off and he is even smarter today.
I pray that I am as well.