Sunday, April 13, 2014

L - Listen

Janice angrily jerked the shirt off the wet floor.

 “BRIAN!” she yelled.

“Yeah?!” he yelled back.

“Why don’t you listen to me? I’ve told you at least 25 times to not leave your clothes on the floor when you shower! I am so tired of picking up your messes!” she slammed the shirt into the hamper.
”And why don’t you ever listen to me?” eleven-year-old Brian shouted back defiantly.

Janice raised her arm to pop him for speaking to her in such a rude tone. But then she stopped herself. She just stopped. Taking a deep breath, she thought about what he had just said. She exhaled and clenched her fists.

Mustering up the best tone she could, she calmly answered back. “What do you mean? When do I not listen to you?”

He glared at her, then looked down. “You just never listen!” he said and stomped down the hall.

“Wait a minute. The wet floor and messy clothes can wait ….Is something wrong, Brian?” she felt a little less angry now. She walked over and put her hand on his shoulder.
”NO!….Well, maybe,” he looked like he wanted to tell her something.

“It’s okay….Whatever you did, I promise not to get mad. Just tell me,” Janice softened her tone.

Brian raised his eyebrows. “No. It’s not that.” He looked down again.

“Ok…well…. I’m listening now,” she tried again.

“You know Susan at school? Well, she’s got a new best friend named Rhonda and now she hardly talks to me anymore. I’m so mad at Rhonda! I wish she’d just move away or something!”

Ohhh….”Susan? The girl you sort of have a crush on?” Janice remembered now.
Brian nodded shyly. “Yeah. And we used to talk all the time. And now that Rhonda’s always around, she barely speaks to me! It’s like I’m invisible or something. She acts different when Rhonda’s around. I don’t know what to do! What if she doesn’t like me anymore?” he was close to tears.

Janice put her arm around him. “That stinks. I’m sorry.”

“I’m just so mad at Rhonda. And Susan too! Why does she act like that?!”

“Well, honestly I don’t know. Sometimes girls want to have other girl friends. Or maybe she doesn’t realize she’s hurting your feelings. She may not even know you like her. I bet she’s not doing it on purpose,” Janice said.

“Well, I think she is! What am I supposed to do?”

“Well, I think the best thing you can do is just to still be her friend but maybe step back and give her some space. Let her have some time with her other friend.”

“Hm….You mean like not talk to her as much? Yeah, that might work. Maybe she might miss me and come talk to me.”
”Mom, girls are just weird sometimes,” Brian said.

Janice laughed and tousled his hair. “Yeah, well boys are too.”

“Do I still have to clean my clothes off the floor?”
”Nice try. Yeah. You do. But I’m sorry for yelling at you. I shouldn’t have screamed like that.”

“Mom, I’m glad you listened,” Brian threw back as he ran to the hamper with his clothes.

“Me too,” Janice said to the wall.

1 comment:

  1. It's so hard to listen when they don't say anything until they finally explode. That was always the clue that there was something to be said.

    Donna Smith
    The A-to-Z Challenge
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