Listen Up

I often think of one of my favorite sayings from Do the next right thing. That has been my motto since embarking on my mini-life crisis renewal. I can’t remember if it was in preparation for my first communion or confirmation, but I once had a religious assignment to determine what type of patron saint I’d be if I were to be one. I remember nervously naming myself the patron saint of the struggling good. Now, I’m no saint, but I still struggle to do good. Some days are better than others, but in this life I’ve learned that it’s important to keep trying, no matter how disasterous the weeks, days, hours, or minutes before may have been.

Another one of my favorite sayings is from a yoga video: Be fierce in your committment to your higher self. It’s easy to go through life talking to yourself – talking down to yourself or pepping yourself up. But having a motto or mantra has become important to me because it never changes. It’s a constant when I’m not. Plus, I’ve chosen fierceness as my characteristic of choice. It calls to mind bad episodes of America’s Next Top Model (are there any good episodes?), but fierceness is what I’m after.

What Connor is after is two words in a row. It started on Monday when Z woke him up but then had to jet to work. Connor’s first two-word phrase was “Daddy car?” Yes ‘Rado, daddy drove the car to work. He has been unstoppable since. Big truck. Mommy car. Bye-bye Grandma. Bye-bye Papa. I even got him to say “Bye-bye Uncle Marc” and “Bye-bye Uncle Luke” this afternoon. Only the dog and I were in the car to hear those first three-word phrases, but rest assured they were adorable in his little ‘Rad voice. He was so proud of himself for saying them that he smiled quietly to himself on our way home from Grandma’s tonight. When it’s the little things that get you they can almost be too much. I’m going to go Lenny on that kid.


This kid is talking. I just wish I could understand everything he says.

I can understand the frustration Connor feels when he tries to tell me something in clear words which are unfortunately nonsensical. I ask him to repeat what he said, and he often points off to some vague something. When I still don’t understand he just puts his hands by his side dejectedly as if to say, “Nevermind. Forget it.” I often have to repeat my questions to my co-workers, and in my head I tell them to slow their roll and l-i-s-t-e-n and what I’m saying won’t be such a mystery. There are days I come home feeling like a complete failure of an English major because of the crazy, incredulous looks I get from people (ok, one people in particular) when trying to ask a simple yes or no question. With Connor I try to really listen to what he’s saying, but I can’t say for certain that I do the same with everyone else. That’s obviously the case for a lot of us. Listening takes time, and time is at a premium right now, so it’s somehow come to make sense to just hear people and either 1) assume that they’re crazy and don’t know what they’re talking about (as in my case at work) or 2) just hear people and pretend we know enough to get through a conversation. I feel I’m getting preachy about/to the people at work who look at me like I’m speaking a different language (I’m Asian American thanks much) so I’ll stop. But I think you hear what I’m saying.


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