I’m going home to cook for tomorrow’s festivities.  I am looking forward to it.  I get to make the dressing every year.  I guess that means I make good dressing.  It might mean that no one else wants to do it.  Either way, when I get home I will change into some comfortable clothes, slip on my apron and head to the kitchen.

While I’m baking the cornbread and sautéing the onions in preparation for the dressing, I hope that my husband and children will be close by.  I love the chatter that happens in the kitchen and dining room when we’re all gathered there.  I will listen as they talk about their day, their friends, or a new song by their favorite artist.  I get to hear how my children interact with one another……sometimes lovingly and most of the time…..quite the opposite of that.  I learn what makes them laugh and cry and what makes them angry.  I discover if my husband is enjoying his work and which teachers my children really like and the ones that don’t care.

Later I will go to my bedroom to wind down and one of them will come in and lie across the bed.

I’ll ask, “What’s up?”

“Nothing,” is the usual reply.

Almost always he or she will start to share something.  It may be trivial.  But sometimes it’s not and it’s always important.   I listen because I care deeply and want them to know it.

I’ve been guilty of multi-tasking while trying to listen.   It doesn’t work.

Tomorrow, while the women are in the kitchen making last-minute preparations and the men are in the living room watching football……I will listen.  I will talk some but I need to listen more.  When we are sharing our meal I will pay attention.  And I will be thankful for my friends and family.

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while she knows something.” 

                                     Wilson Mizner