Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

This Holiday, I Wish For Peace and Listening Both Big and Small

I walk outside, and sit on my porch. I look to the sky, inhale, and feel peace. My son is quietly sleeping upstairs,* my husband is reading, and I am here, in this gigantic world.

We are here. Almost together. Together.

I hear cars drive by, wonder about them, and know that some cars contain people crying, worrying, wondering, and praying.

I feel peace.

Except for when I don’t.

Sometimes, often maybe, I am the crying, worrying, wondering, and praying person. In my car, or on my porch.

Tonight, I look up at the sky, feel thankful that today was a warm December one. Thankful that when I quizzed my son on his spelling words for tomorrow, he got them all correct. A first. Peace. Homework done with less struggle. 

I exhale.

*

The expression “I wish for world peace” has become a joke. I guess it stemmed from too many Miss America pageant contestants saying so, or, maybe it became a joke because it’s cliche — after all, who doesn’t wish for world peace?

I do. I assume that you do. That we all wish for empathy and wonder

However, many people don’t wish for world peace, because they need to see actual change. And sadly, change rarely comes through peace and the wishing for it. I relate to that as well. In looking at advocacy for special needs, so much of it is accomplished through struggle and strife.

My son found grace in kindergarten in part because at our IEP transition meeting, I questioned everything. Which was mostly peaceful but not agreeing. Which is not peace the way that we imagine it to be, not really.

*

True peace is born from for-real listening. Today, at a work meeting, I realized that we all want the same things for our company. But some people talk and some worry and some say nothing and some try to not cry.

Maybe, that’s the way of the world. Maybe, we all just want what we want, and we want others to hear us. To know us, and to understand what we want. None listen enough; none listened to enough.

This holiday everybody matters - findingninee.com

Because I think that we don’t listen enough,  

This Holiday, I Wish For Peace and Listening Both Big and Small

This holiday, I want to talk to my son about the world, in a six-year-old appropriate way. I want to answer his questions, and I want peace, both big and small.

“Why did you turn off the TV when I came downstairs?”

I want peace for the world, and peace for him. I want to listen, and I want him to hear. I don’t want to have to turn off the TV when he comes into the room.

I also want him to know the world. Big, and small.

I want him to know that each of us hope for More and that where we’re born and what we’re taught matters.
This holiday, I want to become a better listener. I wish for peace in this home, in my son’s heart and in mine, and in the hearts of all mankind, although I know that’s going to take more than wishing for it. 

This holiday, I hope to begin to answer my son’s questions, even when I don’t know the answers. This holiday, I hope to become a listener.

I hope to answer with grace.

“Why did God make us?”

“How come Billy is mean to me?”

“How come Billy has 100 pets and I only have one?”

“What is disappointed?”

He asks me what a soul is. He asks me why some boys push him on the bus and are mean.

I answer, the best that I can, and I hope that this holiday, that we can find a bridge towards peace in this world. That we can all become listeners.

That we can listen to the world’s plights, and listen, hear, and realize that we’re all more alike than different.

That peace will come as it can, and that we’ll work towards it. All of us. Because really, that’s so much better than crying in our cars, although crying in our cars is okay, when we’re really listening to others and to ourselves.

***

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The topic is “This holiday season, I hope…”
Your hosts are me (Findingninee.com) and
Lisa from The Golden Spoons

*my son is not sleeping, and my husband is not reading…they just called me so that my son could tell me that bedtime would be better if I were tickling his back — which is annoying, but I’m trying to be a better listener, at least over the holidays 😉

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  • Emily - I sometimes wonder if I am a good enough listener to my kids, my husband and my friends. I hope I am. I know I certainly try. I love Tucker’s questions — they are so very curious and inquisitive and that is a hugely wonderful thing. Happy happy holidays to you and your family!!!December 10, 2015 – 10:06 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Me too, Emily. Me, too to the listening and Tucker’s questions and all of it. Happy happy holidays to you and yours as well 🙂December 11, 2015 – 11:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly L McKenzie - You know, as I’ve aged, one of the qualities I look for in a friend is that of being a good listener. A truly good listener is hard to find. You’re on your way, Kristi, by wanting to become one. I join you in wishing more people think along these lines. How wonderful that would be. Wishing you and your family all the best during the holiday season!December 10, 2015 – 10:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’re so right Kelly that a true friend is a good listener. I have friends who don’t listen and I no longer wish to hang out with them much. Thanks for the holiday wishes! Here’s to your mom getting a new awesome outfit and to you getting what your heart desires!December 11, 2015 – 11:57 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - This holiday I hope we all really listen better and HEAR EACH OTHER’S SOUL’S (I had to get that in for T!) so we may understand each other better, empathesize with each others’ plights more and love each other more each day for we all are unique beautiful SOULs that not only need to be heard but seen and loved.

    Now go tickle T…he is of course the mission. As every child is their parent’s primary mission.December 10, 2015 – 10:53 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We are so very much unique beautiful souls and we all deserve to be seen and heard and loved. 🙂December 11, 2015 – 11:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Jill Robbins - The other day, my son asked me what exploit meant. I told him I would answer him later. He asked me every five minutes until I told him I would answer him tomorrow. And tomorrow became in a few days. And tomorrow, the answer will be “next week.”

    Being on the receiving end of the questions of a small child is daunting. And it makes me feel small.

    Shit, that was deep.

    Love to you this season. And I also love that some people are thinking about me when I’m crying in my car.December 10, 2015 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Love to you and yours this season and always my friend. OMG to the “what does exploit mean?” UGH. Sigh. I hope he forgets to ask again, or that you can find a way to answer…December 12, 2015 – 12:00 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - You know I am smiling at the end about Tucker’s request at bedtime as I shared earlier in the week how I hear similar types of requests, as well. But still loved your wish for this holiday season and now hope it comes trueDecember 11, 2015 – 3:03 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - I hear ya, Kristi 🙂
    Cheers to lending an ear and peace!!

    Pleasure to link up with you, again 🙂December 11, 2015 – 3:46 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - One of the things I’m trying to learn is to listen better – not just to what people say, but to what they *mean*. I had an old man patient the other day who ranted and ranted for a good 10 minutes about a perceived slight against him and how he’d been messed around by other members of my team, and his appointment had been altered and I realised that whilst he was saying a bunch of crap and being grouchy, what he meant was that he was upset and confused and anxious, and he needed reassurance. Once I figured that out, we were sailing.

    Likewise when I’ve had someone vicious and angry and hateful to me, really they were scared of abandonment and isolation and being sidelined. Or when I’ve had someone act hatefully towards people I love, really they were jealous and insecure.

    Often people’s actions belie their meaning, even if their words are saying something else. I think it’s important to listen to both. Maybe you’ve hit on the exact thing…

    Once I saw a car bumper sticker which said “Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity” and whilst I admit there’s a struggle, surely the struggle should be on both sides, in an effort to communicate more effectively and hear each other’s fears and offer reassurance and effective ways forward.

    If only!December 11, 2015 – 7:10 amReplyCancel

  • April G - Do I wish for peace? Of course I do. As a mother, I have a serious fear that my son may be shot by a scared cop one day, even if he wasn’t doing anything. We have created false fears when there are none and take lightly the big ones. Unarmed people are being shot, while assassins are attacking campuses and other public places. I wish everyone would would listen and pay attention to what’s going on with us.December 11, 2015 – 10:57 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I wish everybody would listen and pay attention too April. It’s a scary time for sure right now. Hugs and blessings to you and yours.December 12, 2015 – 12:05 amReplyCancel

  • Bev - If we all stopped and listened to each other, instead of jumping to conclusions and making assumptions….my goodness what a difference that could make. I don’t know if I seriously wish for peace, though I want it, because I can’t see it actually happening. But taking a moment to talk and listen to one another? Maybe we could actually get somewhere.December 11, 2015 – 5:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - On of my husband favorite things to tell our girls is “God gave you two ears and only one mouth for a reason!” 🙂 He also talks to them about “listening for understanding” not just to hear. Pretty good advice and something that all of us could work on. And, yes, world peace.December 11, 2015 – 5:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love two ears and one mouth for a reason, Lisa! I might have to use that! And yeah, world peace. xo Thanks for co-hosting with me this week!December 12, 2015 – 12:22 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - It’s so hard when you have to start explaining stuff. I don’t know what Christopher asked or told me the other day but the first thing that came out of mouth was, “This world is going to H-E double hockey sticks.” He was quiet and I said that I was sorry. The next day he asked me did I really mean that and I said, “No” I was just mad. Gosh I wish I can remember what that was about but I worried him that everything is so bad and that people are crazy. He’s asked me the tough questions about ISIS and terrorist attacks etc. Sigh.

    Then there’s the bus that he’s been riding now since Kindergarten that I think has given a real world knowledge that I don’t think would have happened if I dropped him off and picked him up everyday. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. To shelter or not to shelter….December 11, 2015 – 8:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I so know where you are coming from with the bus vs. the sheltering. I go both ways, every single way. Sigh. And yeah, I’ve made those comments too about the world and then the look on Tucker’s face… SIGH. For real. Thanks for getting it, Kenya… 🙂December 12, 2015 – 12:25 amReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - I feel like I am on that front porch with you… thinking similar thoughts and wishing similar wishes. I WISH I was on that front porch with you… Talking about similar things and wishing similar wishes together. This was beautiful, my friend. Simply beautiful.December 12, 2015 – 2:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Claudia Willison| ImagesByCW - Wonderful post. So, very true, sometimes it is more important to just listen instead of trying to fix, or change.
    Happy Holidays!

    p.s. I found you through Tamara (#6 in your linky) and I’ll forward your linky to a couple of writer friends of mine. I am more of a visual artist, who can’t stop blogging 🙂December 13, 2015 – 7:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - So glad that you came by! I adore Tamara and just checked out your art- it’s fantastic!December 13, 2015 – 12:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Claudia Willison - Wonderful post. So, very true, sometimes it is more important to just listen instead of trying to fix, or change.
    Happy Holidays!
    p.s. I found you through Tamara (#6 in your linky) and I’ll forward your linky to a couple of writer friends of mine. I am more of a visual artist, who can’t stop blogging 🙂December 13, 2015 – 12:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - This sentence – “I realized that we all want the same things for our company. But some people talk and some worry and some say nothing and some try to not cry.” I think if you switch company for world, it will still work. Maybe not all of us. But most of us. And we all work differently and many of us are wishing and hoping without doing. Sometimes and often, that’s me.
    Sob.December 13, 2015 – 2:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think you’re right about switching company with world and it still working, Tamara. Sometimes and often, that’s me, too.December 15, 2015 – 10:08 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - We can only have big peace when we have found small peace. Sometimes – most times – that seems overwhelming and impossible. But we have to start somewhere, don’t we?December 13, 2015 – 4:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We do have to start somewhere. Listening seems like a good place to start, right?December 15, 2015 – 10:08 amReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - ***True peace is born from for-real listening.***

    Yes!

    And respect for other peoples’ opinions & beliefs!!

    I was scolded for my religion and my God the other day and I was so angry and offended by this. I was like, “Don’t do that!”

    Isn’t it all about “LOVE?” Love Love Love?

    xxxx MUCH of that from MN.December 13, 2015 – 10:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yes! Here’s to respect for other people’s beliefs and opinions. I can’t believe you were scolded for your religion. That’s just plain wrong. It’s so all about LOVE LOVE LOVE. xxxxDecember 15, 2015 – 10:09 amReplyCancel

  • Deborah Lovel Bryner - Awesome as always…and crying in your car is totally okay. I do it a lot. A LOT.December 14, 2015 – 6:59 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - I’m sorry I am so late reading and responding. I have been busy – and I have no peace. Super stressed out. But I love how your post makes me pause. and breathe. Thank you!December 14, 2015 – 11:03 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so sorry that you are super stressed out. Things going any better for you this week? I hope so. xoxo hugs, mama.December 15, 2015 – 10:12 amReplyCancel

  • Ashley Akaleistar - We live in such a noisy world it’s easy to forget to listen. I think you are right that peace comes from listening 🙂December 15, 2015 – 12:46 amReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - They still tease and push him around?!! 🙁 I just hate that some parents cannot covey empathy to their kids!!December 17, 2015 – 9:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandra - You’re an exceptional mother. I would hardly think your son would be worse the wear if you missed a few bonding opportunities throughout the holidays or ever. And I hear ya on the listening thing…get it?…I HEAR ya? I just made myself laugh and I guess I’m missing the point of the importance of listening. But no, I actually tweeted recently about the art of listening (and how I lack it). This post is much needed, and if we could listen to each other rather than trying to talk over each other, it would be a peaceful world indeed. You’re awesome!December 28, 2015 – 6:04 amReplyCancel

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