My little blessing today is brief, but still something I want to remember.
I ran into a young mom in the restroom at work. She was getting a paper towel as I went to wash my hands. I remembered that she had had a baby about a year ago, and after greeting her, I said “So how is your little one?”. I couldn’t quite remember if it was a girl or a boy, and definitely couldn’t remember the baby’s name.
She smiled beautifully at me and said, “She is amazing.”
Amazing. That was the word she chose.
Most of us say, “Oh, good…” or “Getting big” or some other generic, nondescript way to answer to a semi-stranger. But this mommy? No. She said her baby was amazing.
I usually answer with something like, “Oh, they’re doing good.” Followed by this frantic thought process where I try to think of something interesting or unusual they have done recently that I can tell the listener about. It’s never occurred to me to just say what they really are, which is, amazing.
She then went on to tell me how her little girl was very short, and was trying to learn to walk, which was so funny to her mommy and daddy because she was just so darn tiny. And I smiled as I listened to her, not because of what she was saying, but because of the pure happiness and pride and love I could hear in this young woman’s voice.
We never really think about that, when we ask that simple question, “how are the kids? The family? The husband.” My darling friend, Wendy, says that we don’t actually want an answer to the question, we just ask it because it’s something to say.
I disagree. I really want to know. I want to see your face light up as you tell me about your little girl. I want to hear how much you love your husband when you tell me how things are going. I want to truly listen to you. I want you to know I genuinely care.
Because I do. I always have room for another friend, another hand to hold on this walk through life. You can’t ever have too many friends. When you want to talk about your family, or about how you feel, I hope that I listen, and I listen well.
Life is too colorful, too precious, and too fleeting to be generic and nondescript.