Listening is a skill. Hearing someone is a gift.
My dad’s first words when I told him about my new job were, “It’s not very close to home.” I was a fresh college graduate in Missouri. He was back home in Maine and the job was in Pennsylvania.
I did the easy thing. I heard words but I didn’t hear meanings.
It didn’t seem closer to him but it seemed closer to me. I resisted his words, observed he was right and moved with my young family to live in the greater Philadelphia area.
Today, it sounds silly that I heard the words but didn’t hear meanings. I totally missed it. My excuses are youth and enthusiasm.
Now that my own children are out and on their own, I know what he meant. It wasn’t geography. It was relationship.