Listening

02.2.12

The best talks with the kids seem to be when we aren’t face to face. Car rides and long walks bring out the chattiness in my kids. I suspect there’s less pressure on them when we’re side by side, or perhaps these are just times where there are fewer interruptions.

I don’t know why they talk when they do, but I’m smart enough to listen.

Last night I was able to secure 20 minutes alone in the car with Jane. Jane is pretty tight lipped without being particularly secretive but when she wants to talk to you it sounds like this.

OhMyGawdMomYouWouldNeverBelieveWhatTheBoysDidAtTheDance.TheyAreSoGross…

And you might sit in the car for twenty minutes while only nodding a few times, wishing you could take notes because the cast of characters is ever evolving and you don’t want your first born to think that you don’t love her enough to know who all her friends are. You also marvel at how long she can talk without needing to breathe.

She finally told me about the dance. Mind you this was the Halloween Dance, but I did get a few words about slow dancing and who knows how to and who doesn’t. The fact that the boys want their pants to sag like gansta’s (difficult and moderately amusing in a school uniform), the fact that they puff their boxers out and the logic that no one should slow dance with them because all this fussing with their pants makes touching their hands “disgusting”.

Jane’s volleyball club has brought her back to girls that she hasn’t seen since second grade and facebook makes catching up all that much easier. She’s a generous child and told me all the ways her teammates are talented, beautiful and successful. I love that about her. Jane is a lot like her father as they both have a sweet ability to focus on people’s strengths.

Today I’ll have a car full of kids and a very typical afternoon of homework, friends, dinner and family time. I’m considering carving out a car ride for Alexander so that we can catch up too.

I’m Embarking on a Campaign of Listening

05.18.11

 

This week I had a phone call with Procter and Gamble (P&G) and they gave me a brief overview of their Thank You Mom campaign as it relates to the Special Olympics this summer in Athens. P&G has made a significant donation of $250,000 to the Special Olympics to support it’s local programs and services.

As is their tradition P&G reached out to the Mothers of the Athletes to ask how they could best partner with them. This group of mothers simply wants to ensure that their children are able to compete. This group of moms would like nothing more than to see the games supported.

As a mom I was a little surprised by this so I decided to poke around the internet and see if any of these mothers had written anything.

I should have known that one of my most devoted members of my community would write a post so ordinary about a day so extraordinary that I’d be teary eyed and smiling reading it. Cathy is the mom of Cody, an athlete in the special olympics. She writes:

At some point while waiting for his third and final race of the day, the 1 kilometer walk, he looked at his Dad and said, I want to win. I get a little teary as I write that. It’s so much more than I can express in words. Cody has never cared about winning or being the best at anything, not because he doesn’t give a darn, but because he just wasn’t made that way. In most cases, that’s been a good thing, sometimes it’s a gift that autism gave us rather than taking something away.

I wasn’t sure how to introduce this campaign to y’all, so I thought I’d embark on a campaign of listening. My community is diverse, but we all share a special tenderness. I can’t be the only person who was reading at her computer and silently cheering for Cody to win the whole shebang.

The Olympics has united nations, wars have been paused so that men and women can compete. Just as we honor our Olympic athletes I’m getting excited about our Special Olympics Athletes. Oh, and their moms. You cannot ignore Mom when you look at an athlete of any age. I’m sorry but if I helped you learn to walk that means I helped you learn to run. [okay maybe a little selfish but that’s just me projecting]

Procter and Gamble  also went on a campaign of listening and to honor the Moms of the athletes competing in the upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games another $250,000 will be donated to support Team USA’s travel to Athens, assuming y’all help. In order to get this next quarter of a million dollars we (you and I) are being asked to like the Thank You Mom campaign on facebook. Every time you like, share or leave a comment on the page another dollar is added to the gift.

This post is brought to you from my partnership with P&G.