I’ve recently had some really fun and amazing conversations with my 4-year-old. I savor these moments. Sitting in a booth at a restaurant for dinner, right next to each other, our faces close, looking into each others eyes and just talking. And, boy, my Alex can talk. She was telling me all about a periscope (the ones that pirates use, of course) that she has in her brain and how she could see through things. She was telling me all about what the inside of my face, nose and ears looked like. It was fascinating, funny and I enjoyed every word coming out of her mouth.
I love seeing my children’s eyes light up and the excitement they have when we are having a conversation. When they see that I value their words and thoughts, they feel good about themselves. By seeing that I am actively listening and engaged in true conversation with them, they are learning A LOT. They are learning about listening, they are learning how to ask questions, and they are learning they have value. They are forming their opinions, beliefs and personalities all through important and everyday conversation. I know that this will build a solid foundation of trust and connectedness that will help us as we grow as a family and also help my children as they grow as individuals.
Conversation is a great source for our everyday stories. Think about some of the most important moments in your life and about the relationships you have. The foundation of nearly all of these is conversations. When we are learning about one another, we are listening and enjoying simple moments together.
I remember my first date with my husband like it was yesterday. I remember what I was wearing, what he was wearing, his car, the restaurant and most importantly, our conversation. I was tremendously excited about this date. He was smart, successful and funny. I knew we had a connection and I couldn’t wait to see how our date would unfold.
We had a wonderful first date. We talked and talked and talked. About everything. We talked so much that our date moved from dinner to two different places so we could keep doing what? Having one of the best conversations of our lives.
And, when I look back on this magical evening, you know what was completely missing? Cell phones, television, tablets and other insignificant distractions. When was the last time you could say that? When was the last time you really had a good conversation? I think that conversations build us up, they help us when we need it the most, and they are an important part of our everyday lives.
You see, this is what being present is all about: connecting through conversation. Let go of the distractions. Don’t let the insignificant interfere with significant moments that shape your life.
So, how do we do this? We ask questions, we have fun, we let go, we listen. I have some suggestions for great conversations, especially at dinner time. Enjoy them.