On being present…(the Oprah post)

So, Oprah's done today. I watched the show this morning, coffee in hand. I had planned to watch it later from the DVR, but my curiosity got the best of me. It was a fine show. Relaxed, contemplative, calm. She spoke from the heart, remembering special moments from the past 25 years, thanking her viewers over and over again, reminding them of some of her most valuable lessons. There were no giveaways, no surprise guests, the fanfare had already happened on the past two shows. This was her time to reflect and say thank you.

I thought it was sweet. There was something that she said, though, that kinda got me in the gut. She has said before that God whispers to us, and we should listen. That the whispers come to us as little things that make us go, "hmmm." And when we ignore them, they get louder, finally knocking us in the head. I remembered that I have had a few of those whisper moments while watching her show. I wasn't an everyday watcher, but I kept her on the DVR, watching when something I found interesting was on. Today, she said a something that knocked me over the head. She was talking about her favorite teacher, one that made her feel validated, special. This teacher basically changed her life, made her feel that she is enough. She went on to say that we, as human beings, really just want to be heard. We should say to the ones we love, "I see you, I hear you, what you say is important to me." I had a little whisper that said, "Hmm, I hope my kids get to have a teacher like that." 

And then the brick hit me.

I'm supposed to be that teacher. (Duh.)

Yes, it would be fantastic for them to have a great school teacher that gave them that kind of attention, but what if that never happens? 

I get so caught up in "stuff" sometimes. Phone calls that have to be made, cleaning, laundry, lists of my many "to-dos." I can't even count how many times I tell my kids, "Hold on, I'll be right there!" How many times has one of them wanted to show me something that they felt was important (like a video on the computer, or some goofy commercial on TV) and I glanced over at them and said, "Uh-huh." never giving them what they really wanted. 

How do I feel when I'm not being heard? I get pissed off. I feel dismissed, upset, unappreciated. How do they feel? Do they notice? I notice when people give me the brush-off. I'm their mom, the most important person in their lives, at least for now. Soon they will stop asking me for help, or approval. Probably sooner than I'd like. 

So, on Oprah's last show, she finally got in my head. I need to be more present. I need to be that teacher for my children. They will grow up knowing that they have a voice, that they matter. I mean, I know that they are important, they mean the world to me. But they need to feel it. 

Life isn't perfect. I'm not saying I'm going to be the perfect parent. But everyday, I have the chance to do the best I can. Didn't Oprah say we should live our best lives? Good thing I was listening, huh?



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