Lessons from the Kids #4 – Big Stuff Start Small

The amount of academic work seems to have picked up for Matthew now that he is in Kindergarten 2. His ability to describe the daily happenings is also getting better.

Unfortunately for him (and for us), we have limited time to spend with him after a day’s work and before his bedtime. And when he starts telling us long versions (and revisions) of what happened in school, what he saw and did, we are often unable to devote our full attention to him.

Yesterday evening was no different. He started off by telling us what happened in school excitedly, but we had trouble following him. Then he chose the wrong moment to ask us what other occupations were there, in line with what they are reading and doing in school. ‘Teacher’ suggested by the Man was not accepted because of some rule we didn’t understand and he couldn’t articulate. After both parties could not get through to each other, Matthew gave up and said in a resigned voice, “It’s ok, I’ll think about it myself tomorrow in school.”

My heart wrenched at his desolate voice. It sounded as if he knew his parents didn’t care and he had given up. “NOOOO!” I wanted to scream. It is not like that! MaMa cares and MaMa wants to listen to you. But many things commanded my attention, and I was just not in the right frame of mind to pay full attention at the moment. Matthew went to bed a happy kid though; the earlier incident forgotten. I relaxed; and put the incident out of my mind too.


I chanced upon this quote by Catherine M. Wallace:

“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.”

It is a wake up call. A reminder that I must never take things for granted, for I may regret the day when Matthew stops talking to me. Because I have not tried my best; I have not listened with my heart. There are so many real examples around me that I cannot ignore. And time is running out.

Perhaps the work assignment can wait. Housework can wait. But not the chance to talk to Matthew this evening…


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