We have a funny saying in our home: ‘hear you, hearing you.’ It’s the not-subtle reminder that your children will take on, and repeat, everything they hear you say, your mannerisms, your responses. It’s a reminder to model appropriately, especially when they are young.
Now, as a parent to a 14- and 12-year-old, home all day doing Zoom school, I have the fly-on-the-wall experience of listening to them engage with peers and teachers. My son lowers his voice and squares his shoulders when he speaks, and cracks self-deprecating jokes that never bite towards another. My daughter calmly takes charge in small groups and asks who would like to speak next. She has analytical, one-on-one conversations with her teacher. Points her pencil at the screen. Thoughtful.
If it weren’t for a pandemic, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to 'hear them, hearing them’ like I did when they were little, and we were together like little mirrors all day. Now, I see them less reflecting me, but reflecting who they have become, and who they will be, bouncing their light off the rest of the world. They are a better me than I ever was.