A child’s ears truly listen.

Whether we are seated at the dinner table, playing with the toy kitchen, or reading a book, it is always my daughter who calls my ears to attention.

“Cawl! Cawl! Cawl!”

She’s right, I do hear the birds now.

“Weeeeeeehhhh,” she howls in excitement, tapping her head to tell me she wants her plastic red fire hat.

She’s right, sirens sound in the distance (and time for another Hail Mary).

“Woof! Woof! Woof!”

Indeed, the neighbor’s dogs are barking.

A child’s ears acknowledge and celebrate with the pureness of selflessness.

Teach me, child, that what I am doing now is never so important that I cannot hear the sounds of life around me.

Teach me, child, that my priorities cannot be focused solely on myself, but rather, on others.

How often am I so busy that I ignore the needs of those around me? How often am I so wrapped up in the self-importance that is me that I don’t even hear the needs of others, let alone take the time to ignore those needs? I don’t know which is worse, hearing and ignoring – or not hearing at all.

Teach me, child, to truly listen.

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