Indulge me. At 28 weeks en utero, this is what technology can give us. A 3D rendering of our babies that actually looks like a baby and not several lima beans connected by dark matter! Fascinating. Does he have my nose? Who's chin is that?! And yes, that's my uterus to his left on parade for everyone to see.
Moving along past the baby material that is captivating to me and perhaps only me. If you haven't seen the film Grey Gardens, well, I'm not sure I recommend it, but it should be seen by someone. It is a documentary made in 1976 that chronicles some days in the life of the aunt and cousin of Jackie O. But wait, don't prepare yourself for a peek into the lives of the wealthy and sane. These women are so much more interesting than that. Just remember that I didn't recommend it, I just mentioned it...but your curiosity is baited, eh?
In a long overdue conversation with an old friend today,(who is leaping into the wild journey of motherhood as well!) I found myself excitedly speaking about all of the unexpected things that can come up during anticipated parenthood. Read: unpredictable emotions, family wounds, some truly scary things and oh, so much to talk talk talk about!
In my hasty excitement, I hopped off the phone with her, beaming as if the news were my own and blabbing it to my husband, then after a few moments, I realized that I had not listened to her quite like I wanted to.
I think excitement is one of the reasons we allow ourselves not to be such great listeners. This is often my excuse, anyway. But I don't know, I don't think its a very good one. And I do think about wanting to be a better listener quite often. So in my gentle reflection I turned to Kay Lindahl, listening guru, and found this:
"Perhaps one of the most precious and powerful gifts we can give another person is to really listen to them, to listen with quiet, fascinated attention, with our whole being, fully present. This sounds simple, but if we are honest with ourselves, we do not often listen to each other so completely."
This was just how I felt. I was heartened by later words that encouraged:
"Listening is an art that calls for practice."
I'm committed to practicing. My reason for wanting to be a better listener is not only to avoid feeling like I cheated someone in a conversation, but to deepen my relationships. It does take a conscious effort. It also seems that in the community I am a part of, we are often learning the same lessons around the same time. This subject has been percolating in blogs and journals I've been receiving for months now. Isn't it queer how entire groups of people undergo shifts in the same territories? We are all connected? I'm thinkin.
I'm beginning to notice a bit of a pattern beginning with slowing down, being more conscious, enjoying the time I have with loved ones and beloved experiences. I do feel deeper in my own well, more full.