Friday, March 9, 2018

Perfectly Clear

"Whoawha Air!  Whoawha Air!!"

This quote is from our two year old grandson, Zach.  Bet you wouldn't in a million years guess what he was so excitedly saying.  Here's the background story.  I promise, it will make you laugh.

Earlier this week, Kristin and I went to Sam's club (a HUGE grocery warehouse) to restock some items for church.  Joy knew we were going and asked if she could meet us there.  We said sure.  Then Meagan decided she would join us, too.

Please remember that Joy nannies two extra babies and Meagan nannies one extra.  So Joy arrived first with Zach - 2; Tyce - 2; Ava - 9 months and Avery - 3 months.

I wasn't at the door to meet them but I heard that as soon as Joy brought them inside,  both boys were shocked by the immensity of the warehouse.  They began looking all around, pointing and loudly yelling, "Whoa!!  Yook!  Yook! (Look) Whoa!"

Que the smiling customers.

When we connected, I took charge of the shopping cart with the two bigger boys.  Meagan was delayed so Zach kept watching for her and his cousins around every corner. 

"Maymay?!"  He would look up at me with immense blue eyes, tilt his head slightly and turn pudgy little hands palms up.  All this I interpreted to say, "Dearest Grandmother, do you know where my Aunt Meagan might be hiding?"

You're probably wondering how in the world one could get all that from Maymay?  Trust me.  These littles know more than we give them credit for; we just have to learn their communication methods.

I know many of them but not all.  Hence, the story......

I shop in Sam's Club often, I even know the names of several workers. (Occupational habit.)  But it is indeed a massive place and I can easily get overwhelmed if I don't stay focused.

Pushing that cart with two active two year olds while trying to concentrate on the items I needed to locate was a comedy show in the making.  Believe me!

Finally, it seemed best that Noni should only focus on the precious cart cargo while Joy found her short list of items.  Then I would do my shopping.

So began my most fun trip to Sam's Club ever.

The boys - fascinated by all they were seeing - noticed a tall net secured above the 20' bank of diary doors.  "Yook, Noni!  Yook!"  Zach pointed and Tyce giggled.  "Backebauh!"  (Look, Noni.  Basketball.)

In a flash, this fifty-nine year old, 5'3" professionally dressed lady became the imaginary twin of Shaquille O'Neal.  I bounced my imaginary "backebauh" a few times then shot toward the netting.  We all three watched while it made its trek; then I started jumping and cheering, "WooHoo!"

Zach never hesitated.  He threw both hands into the air and yelled loudly, "Core!!"  (Score!)

Then began the real competition.  First, I grasped Zach's little hands, dribbled the bakebauh, then threw his arms over his head to make the shot the way I've seen his dad do so many times.

We watched for a moment then all three cheered as the invisible orb "disappeared" behind the netting.  Now, Tyce's turn.  Now, Noni again.  Back to Zach.

It made no difference that several people slowed and stared while passing us.  A few smiled.  The boys were loving it and so was Noni.

When the backebauh game was over, we journeyed on.  That's when we rounded another aisle and Zach went absolutely ballistic.

"Whoawah Air!  Noni, whoawah air!"  His stubby fingers were pointing, his legs were swinging, his bottom bouncing, his short arms waving. Blue eyes were electric.  Red kissy lips formed a perfect awestruck circle.

He was inviting me to celebrate this wondrous discovery with him.  Only one problem.  I had no idea what the child was saying!

"Whoawah Air!"  He kept pointing and repeating it; a bit more intensely now.  Each interpretation attempt was deemed a failure.  "No, Noni!  Whoawah Air!!"  This was getting urgent.

Finally, I spotted Joy standing beside a mountain built of oranges and apples.  I made a beeline for her as quickly as a grandmother in dress shoes can push an over-sized cart containing two little boys and heavy grocery supplies.

"WHAT is He Saying?!"  In my perplexed state, I may have said it a bit too loudly.  Joy jumped and turned to see who was coming at her.  "Tell Mommy!" I directed.

Zach twisted in his seat again pointing and calling out, "Whoawah Air!  Whoawah Air!"

Joy took one look in the direction he indicated then calmly responded, "Yes, that little boy over there has hair just like Noah's."  There were triplets in a cart we had passed.  All three had white blond hair just like Meagan's children, Noah and Madi.

Zach looked back at me, gave a short nod and said again for my benefit, "Whoawah Air."

Of course, he couldn't verbalize it, but his look clearly stated, "See?!  What I was saying was perfectly clear, Noni.  Why didn't you get it?"

I burst out laughing.

Thinking back on that moment of disconnect reminds me of how often I've misunderstood others, as well.  What someone is trying to say may be perfectly clear in their thinking but may not be what I hear at all.

This struggle can become especially difficult between husbands and wives or parents and teenagers. They desperately want us to understand what they're saying but we just can't seem to get it.

Frustrations quickly arise and feelings can be hurt all because we just aren't able to connect.

If you find yourself not understanding someone you love, may I encourage you to find a mediator who can help decipher your communication?  Who knows, you may also end up with a great story of encouragement.  Once the intent of the words your loved one is saying becomes perfectly clear, that is!



  1. Sheri,

    I read this yesterday and then came back and read it again today, just because I enjoyed it so much. :-) I felt like I was right there in Sam's with you and especially loved your description of Zach talking about Noah's hair. Perfect dialogue writing!

    And then to see you tie it in with a real life lesson. Well, it doesn't get any better than that. Kudos, friend!

    1. So very thankful for your constant encouragement, Friend! :-)