Context shapes reality.
So as parents, we often remind each other,
to hear frustration as fatigue, for example—
the melt-downs, the stubborn defiance.
“Well, we kept her up late last night,
and then were up early this morning,
and there’s a lot of just plain tired in this behavior.”
We might remind each other
to hear frenetic energy as anticipation,
to hear obnoxiously shrill shrieking noise as excitement—
to remind each other
that to hear well is to interpret what’s heard,
and so to respond,
not to what something sounds like,
but to what deep down is.