I take a lot of pictures. Thousands. Literally more than 40,000 pictures since 2007. That’s a lot. Which makes me, in my book, a guy that takes lots of pictures. Not to be confused with a photographer! Point being, now and then, I get a stellar photograph here and there, picked out from the thousands of not that spectacular ones. The not so spectacular photographs are still pictures of us doing things as a family, and therefore every bit as important as the few highlights where something we were doing was immortalized in an awesome picture. The awesome ones go on the wall, but all are kept, and all are part of our history.
I talk to my kids a lot as well. Lots and lots of conversations. Thousands? Maybe. I don’t keep track of the exact number, and it isn’t something I can search in Windows! Thank goodness. Yet it’s a very similar situation… of those thousands of words and conversations, many of them are just daily banter… chitchat… nonsense sometimes! We don’t address something of major importance every day. We don’t have a deep conversation every day. Like those few and far between stellar photographs, now and then we have a stellar conversation, or a discussion of great importance, or just a day filled with badly needed laughter that we’ll remember for just as long as those impressive pictures on the wall.
Same deal- Lots of ‘average’ from which ‘spectacular’ things rise up, and/or stand out. Could we have all the ‘spectacular’ without the base of ‘average’? Maybe some people can and do, but for us… this is how it works.
Now and then I hear or read about people who struggle to talk to their kids. On the flip side, kids often struggle to talk to their parents. Sometimes it’s because they think they can’t find the right words, or because the ‘talk’ they need to have is of great importance. I’m sure there are lots and lots of reasons that both parents and children struggle to talk to each other. Yet it pains me to hear something I heard not too long ago- “I wanted to talk to you, but I didn’t know how.” The person who said that needs to meet Sophie! There’s no wrong way to talk in Sophie’s world. You just do it.
Just say something, anything. It doesn’t matter what. The weather. That toy they’re playing with. What’s your favorite park? Mumble. Anything at all to create a ground floor of words and conversations. That’s how it works for us, anyway. Once they’re comfortable talking to you about nothing, it’ll be easier for them to talk to you about things of great importance. And often that’s how it happens here- I never see it coming! We suddenly find ourselves going from idle chitchat to profound topics. All born of single words that created single conversations that lay the groundwork for matters of great importance.
Don’t worry so much about saying the right thing, or ‘wasting time’ talking about nothing. It all matters. Even if you don’t remember all the idle talk that was little more than passing the time, it’s still an important discussion in that it builds a comfort level in ‘talking’ itself.
I know it’s different for everyone… for Sophie and me, oversharing it the right amount of sharing! While with Ezra, it’s a very different course of conversation that takes us to discussions of great importance. Yet I truly believe that it’s all made possible by the seemingly simple foundation of a single word. The awesome ones go on the walls of our memories, but all are kept, and all are part of our history.