Try This: I Noticed That

As an educator, I always try to notice when students use the techniques I’ve been teaching. If I forget, they tell me. Oh, they tell me! “Did you notice that I used that semicolon? Did you notice that I used that chiasmus and that particularly vivid verb?”

The shyer ones say, “I was hoping you noticed how I used the dashes and the colon in that one sentence.”

I noticed! I noticed! I forgot to tell you I noticed!

I also believe it’s so important to notice things about college students that could slip past other people. I stand in front of them and notice if one of them doesn’t seem to be doing well. I’ll just say, “I noticed that you seem really tired and distracted. Is everything OK?” It works the other way, too. “I noticed that you seem really excited today! Do you have good news?”

There’s something about noticing.

In the early years of parenting, I remembered how important it was to my children to say, “I noticed that you put your shoes away. Or I noticed how you made your bed. Or I noticed how you used your manners.” Everything was about noticing. 

But years have gone by without me remembering to use that great parenting phrase that I depend on so much in my classroom.

So at the kitchen table today, I decide to notice some special things about each daughter. They beamed! They wanted to be near me and hear more. Their whole disposition changed.

So I continue:

I noticed how organized you’ve been lately. 

I noticed how you’ve taken such good care of your room lately. 

I noticed how you’ve been so kind to your friends. 

I noticed that you’ve been working hard at math.

I didn’t realize how vital the expression was until I saw the effect it had on them.

My youngest daughter says, “Mom, most of the day I feel invisible like nobody notices anything about me. Thank you for noticing stuff.”

She noticed my noticing!

I noticed that I absolutely adore you, child.

 

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