I remember two quotes posted on my seventh grade science teacher’s walls : “Many look, few see” and “Many hear, few listen.” They’ve stuck with me for many years.
Bryan is good at truly listening and remembering things many of us would have forgotten long ago. He dredges things up from the past which I’ve totally put out of my mind or didn’t remember at all. Of course, he can’t remember where he’s put his wallet and phone, but I like to think that’s the A.D.D. talking!
Last week, Bryan and his dad shared a lunch together. On their way in the car, a song came on the radio which neither Ed nor Bryan knew. However, Ed recognized the artist and asked Bryan – “Who is singing this song?” Bryan grinned and slyly looked at Ed and said “Sting”. Of course, he was correct. The next song came on, also unknown to Bryan, but he recognized the band as “Yes”. I must say, that kid has good taste in rock music!
It amazes me how much he retains, some of it remembered from his childhood. For a kid who has mild hearing loss, he was definitely listening when I thought he wasn’t. Songs I sang with him at the piano when he was a toddler are still lurking in the recesses of his mind. All I need to do is start singing one and he confidently chimes in to finish it. That’s pretty cool. Not only does he remember the song, but often the context in which he first learned it. It will spark a memory from long ago which he will share with a smile on his face.
Movies are another avenue where he listens intently to dialogue and music. I like to play a game with him where I will play the themes from various movies he’s seen and he immediately knows the title. We still will parrot lines from movies back and forth – some from early childhood once again. Things from Disney are among his favorites – the Donald Duck, Chip and Dale “Apple Core” cartoon still gets a good laugh among us.
We say – “Apple Core”; Bryan says “Baltimore”; We say – “Who’s your friend?”; Bryan says “ME!” and then he pretends to smash an apple in our face. Many a Bryan Bad Mood has been averted by resorting to this technique of distraction!
When we go to see a production of Shakespeare in the Park by Bryan’s uncle and aunt’s troop, “Band of Brothers”, Bryan always comes away with a line or two of dialogue that either strikes him as funny or meaningful. Always…a hidden gem which he finds.
I am hoping that when we hear music, a play, a sermon, or a loved one speak, we will really listen, not just hear. Internalize it so that it brings joy and good feelings back to us over and over again. The way Bryan does. Really listening.