Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Power of the Question

I was interrupted yesterday in my posting due to the arrival of our grandchildren. Makena (who is 3) and Ryan (who happens to be 1) spent Saturday with us. We had a day of swings, scooters, gardening, cooking making, and a dip in the jacuzzi. What I found myself doing yesterday, for most of the day, was asking questions. I asked a lot of questions. I did not realize how often I asked a question until this morning while combing and styling Makena's hair. (It is important at this juncture to clarify that she is strong willed, determined, and precocious...but also sweet, often polite, and kind!)

Makena wanted braids and she asked for them. I, unfortunately, had one style of braids in my mind, and she had another. I didn't ask "the question" ... e.g., what kind of braids would you like? Unfortunately, but with little consequence, the twain did not meet. As I completed french braids down each side of her head, with the intention of pulling them back into a pony tail, she informed me her hair was done. Looking a bit like Pippy Longstocking, I tied of the loose strands of her curly locks put it into a bun. A unique style but she was happy. It did not turn out quite as I have envisioned but Makena was satisfied!!

Hairstyles are not critical in the scheme of things...but there are so many other moments that are. How often do we fail to ask the question of the person we are attempting to have communication ... and how equally often do we take the time to clarify? The failure of me to ask Makena what kind of braids reminded me that when having a relationship with someone, anyone, there are two people involved. Two ideas, two creative minds attempting to weave together, like a braid. I think of the times in my life when a question, in important moments, might have made a critical difference and mitigated the conflict or hurt feelings. Questions, it seems to me after spending a weekend with my grandchildren, reminded me of their importance in communication. Questions to communication are as yeast to bread. Without them, it is hard to rise to the occasion of relationship...or have your voice heard at all!

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