35 of 100 Dads – Listen

Jim is Dad to Susan, (Mom #21), the proud grandfather to 7 biological grandchildren and to countless honorary grandchildren. Jim loves all things about family life and hanging out with the next generation.

Along with his wife Marilyn, they’ve raised two boys and one girl. Both ensure they remain a strong presence in all their lives. Well into his retirement, Jim is a hands-on Grandfather and a Dad anyone can count on.

Jim, “Listen.” Tip 1

I always appreciate the reminder to “listen,” as Jim advises in his first tip. I need that reminder often and in all areas. Beginning my journey with the mind of a teen, my listening skills were always under construction. I was under construction.

For some, listening may sounds easy, like common sense; however, it was not so easy for me. I wish I had listened more. I shamefully remember far too often thinking, just stop! I was so tired, preoccupied, and unprepared.

Over the years, I’ve shared a lot about parenting struggles, insecurities and inadequacies. There were times I didn’t love parenting so much, I didn’t listen so well.

I ache to consider the moments that escaped me, as I hurried to do something far less important. Overwhelmed with life, frantic with myself, consumed by bullshit, I could barely hear through the racket in my own head. At times, Michael’s little voice felt as if it were booming.

How I wish I had listened more to the soft sounds, the toddler tones. I wish I had stopped, and slowed down, when I heard the word, “Mommy” instead of thinking, “What now!” My skills were so limited.

I love this tip. I hope others can hear it, the essence of it.

Do listen! It’s a simple word, requiring deliberate action. As said by a special Mom, “They are talking to you for a reason.

Thanks for always being such a great listener Jim!


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