Thursday, August 23, 2012


When my daughter was quite young, she eagerly looked forward to me coming home from work so that she could share everything that had happened to her that day. Nothing was held back - funny things she heard, plot lines from videos she watched, songs she had made up, treasures she had discovered, and all of her big ideas. She just bubbled over with excitement relaying all of the things that she had stored up to tell me. Today, our conversations are noticeably different, neither deep nor wide. Our exchanges are limited mostly to lite and forgettable fare - comments on the weather, commentary on our TV program, the plans for dinner. Moments after they are uttered, they settle to the ground forgotten. How did a loving relationship get to this point?

The other day my daughter and I were watching television. She was sitting on the couch in the living room and I was in the kitchen putting away the dishes from our lunch. I took the opportunity to slip into my bathroom. While I was in there, I could hear her talking. As she still thought I was just behind her in the kitchen, her voice assumed a conversational tone. I knew that she was speaking, but I just could not make out the words.

That got me to thinking about how many times when we have actually been in the same room and where she said something that didn't register with me. Perhaps I was too focussed on the TV, too engrossed in my book, or just lost in my own thougths. I wonder how our communication would be today had I made a concerted effort not just to hear her, but to really listen to what she said. Would it have made any difference? Would we be in a different place than we are now? Will things ever get any better or is the die already cast?