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Lucky Break

by Chana Klein

I remember when my 3 kids were teens. They would come home from school and I would ask them, "How was your day?"

"Fine." Would be the refrain.

"What happened in school today?"

"Nothing."

What did you learn?"

"Nothing."

I wanted so much to be involved in their lives and I felt like I could not get them to share with me.

At the time I was a teacher and in the summers I worked as a camp director. One afternoon, we had a camper vs. staff softball game. Loving to play in sports, I relished the opportunity to participate. When I was up, I batted that ball way out to the outfield and I ran on the dirt surface of the campgrounds as fast as I could, only to slam into the first baseman causing me to bang my foot as I fell to the ground. The pain was excruciating.

I went home with a broken foot.

Because of the injury, I had to take a sitting position in my house. I no longer could go like a madwoman all over the house with what my oldest called "four arms" and whip that house into shape. Here I was confined to the couch with my foot up until further notice.

As I sat there, my oldest son told me about an incident he had with some friends. He shared with me how he felt about it and then told me some of his concerns with school. My youngest son sat down with me and rambled on about everything that was on his mind.

It was so interesting, that here I was in agony and at the moment not caring whether my kids shared or not and there they were sharing as I had longed for them to do for so long.

I began to see that if I wanted my kids to open up to me, asking questions never works.

Rather, the power in sitting silently face to face with my children or anyone else, just being present, letting go of any judgments or opinions, and letting them say it all.

Is that why God gave us two ears and one mouth? Because we are supposed to listen twice as much as we speak?

Our children are out greatest teachers.

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