When I went to pick Kendall up from school one day last week, it was spitting rain and sort of dreary – nothing worth complaining about considering it was the second week of January and it was nearly 40 degrees outside. When Collins and I entered the school – we had arrived early – Kendall’s class was singing a song together. Kendall saw us walk in and yelled, “Mommy, watch!”, as if I was not completely enthralled with watching her already. She is not shy, so when the song said, “dance with a friend,” she walked right over to another little girl and danced with her. The little girl was not as outgoing, but Kendall just smiled and danced anyway.
As we were leaving the school that day, I kept trying to get Kendall to hurry to the car, due to the weather. I cannot imagine how many times I probably tell her to hurry in a day. Maybe not in those exact words, but “hurry” being the underlying point. She was walking behind me as I tried to set the pace to the car, when I heard her say, “hold on mommy, I’m getting something for you!” Generally, it is a rock, stick or leaf that will sit in my car until we bring it inside or until it secretly gets tossed back outside. I appreciate that she sees beauty in the everyday and I do try to save as many things as I can, but to save every “gift” she picks up for me would be impossible – without just bringing the whole back yard inside. This day was different though, she had found a dandelion (impressive, again, considering it is January), which I had overlooked in my attempt to scurry to the car. She proudly handed me the dandelion and I proudly accepted. Had she hurried to keep my pace, the opportunity for this exchange would have been lost and I found myself thinking that maybe I encourage her to “hurry” too much.
Just last week, I wrote about time and the importance of utilizing it to our advantage. I cannot help but wish that time would slow down, so why am I trying so hard to “hurry”? How many special moments have I missed due to rushing the girls?
We often have other places to be and that is generally why I need us to get going. School that morning, for example. It does not seem to matter how early I wake up the girls or how I rearrange our morning routine so that we can be on time – we always seem to end up running late. At the last minute, we need just the right pair of shoes, or our socks feel funny or we need a different coat, and generally once this happens to one of the girls, both end up with the same problem making the grueling task of leaving the house utterly impossible at times.
I have stressed to Kendall the importance of being on time, telling her that someone is waiting for us and when we are late, we are inconsiderately wasting their time. She understands, but still insists on climbing into her own seat and buckling her own seatbelt, even though I’m certain that adds about three minutes to our routine. When I reconsider this, however, three minutes is irrelevant to the grand scheme of things and it makes her feel good, and even proud of herself, to be independent and do it on her own. In my head, I still hope she will hurry, but I no longer stand there rushing her as she fidgets with the buckle. Instead, I give her a high-five or a “great job, big girl”, and finally jump in to the front seat (of course, I immediately check the time on the dashboard clock).
Some days I look at the girls and wonder how they grew up so fast, where did time go? Other times, I look at them and feel grateful that they are still so young and innocent. Either way, in my attempt to remain positive, I am going to try to stop hurrying so much, and instead, focus on the now. I will never find it acceptable to be late, but I also do not find it acceptable to miss out on any more special moments with my girls. The next time I am three minutes late, just know that it is not because I do not value your time, it is because I have learned to value ours.
© 2018 Lauren Johnson; http://livingthroughherlegacy.com