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The Young and the Restless

May 27, 2010


I just had coffee with my daugher Eva and then we went for a short run.  We haven’t had much time to talk lately because of our respective busy schedules, so it was great to catch up.  She had a lot to say and I did my best to listen.  In doing so, I feel like I heard more than usual.  Maybe it is because she is more able to use phrases that penentrate into my way of understanding or maybe because the sheer wonder of the woman she has become mutes me at times into a state of something that might be called rapture.  It is so easy to click into the place of being the one who knows the bottom line, the elder who has been there, done that.  But, something a grocery clerk at Trader Joes said to me a few years ago shifted my thinking in a way that has allowed me to step back from the reins a bit.  It was this guy’s 30th birthday and he was telling us shoppers about it.  This other woman and myself did the usual clucking about how young he still is and so forth.  The clever guy risked his good service award and quipped back at us, saying something about how someone always has to one up the younger people when it comes to milestones and why can’t this be the big moment for him?  Someone is always going to have done it first, or better, or longer, but it doesn’t diminish the moment for the person who is doing is now. 

Young Eva

I have thought about that little conversation  a whole bunch over the last couple of years.  It has changed the way I approach young people and life is  better because of it.  Not only do I try and listen to people’s stories about their moments, I am made happier by actually feeling their joy. Instead of inserting myself in their conversation, which doesn’t really bring me anything new, I open like a deep breath of clean air.

So, today when Eva was telling me about her life, I practiced.  There was stuff I wanted her to hear too, important parent stuff, but in the end, the joy of that hour and a half was more about seeing her, learning about her and keeping my opinions to myself as much as I was able in my current state of evolution.  There is something to learn from the young and the restless and I plan on practicing the art of appreciation.

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