I just read a post from one of my favorite blogs (http://www.beyondmoi.com/an-open-letter-to-anyone-that-has-waited-for-my-family-when-we-were-late/ because I don’t know how to do funky link stuff) in which they wrote an open letter apologizing to those they’ve kept waiting as a result of their family running behind. In the post was all sorts of reasons why a family would be running late. A little kid, who had just eaten, but was suddenly hungry again. A toddler who just discovered how amazing the sun looks coming through the tree branches as she put her shoes on. A baby who suddenly needed a diaper change.
They gave the kid who was hungry a snack. They let the toddler take her time putting her shoes on, so she could discover something new and amazing. They changed the baby, so she wouldn’t have to sit in her poop for fifteen minutes. And before you roll your eyes, wondering how big of a deal the poop situation is, would YOU want to sit in it?
I think it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a child. The fascination we found with so many things. The excitement in discovering something new. The sense of pride we had when we were able to accomplish something that seemed so big. Now those things seem so small.
And I don’t want to forget that. I don’t want to forget what it felt like to tie my shoes for the first time. How I tried and tried to get the laces right by practicing on the laces from my mom’s nightgown. She was so patient with me and let me try over and over.
Or when I finally decided I should wash my hair on my own for the first time. I was probably 4 years old. I got it all in my eyes. It burned so bad, but I had done it. I had also left a lot of shampoo and conditioner in my hair, but Mom didn’t make me wash it out or scold me. A little extra shampoo and conditioner never hurt anybody.
Such tiny accomplishments, but still accomplishments.
And if we don’t take the time and have patience with our kids, then what will they have? What do we WANT them to have?
Memories full of rushed outings, fussing parents, and moments of upset because they didn’t get to watch the rolly polly make it off the sidewalk? No. We want them to have memories full of discovery, excitement, amazement and wonder. We need to slow down. As one of my favorite bloggers said, we need to slow our walk to match theirs.
We need to take our time. See life through the eyes of a child again and see the wonder.
Our little guy is about to be 6 months and even now it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to leave the house. I’m often in a whirlwind trying to get everything ready for “just in case.” Still, I always take my time putting him in his car seat, kissing him as I put him in it. I talk goofy and make him smile as I guide each strap over his shoulder. And then I talk to him as I put him in the car, often kissing him again before closing the door.
It’s the little things. The little things I don’t want to forget. One day he’ll be able to give me a kiss or a hug back, and I don’t want him to feel that I’m ever too rushed to receive either of those.
I know we’ll be rushing out the door to make it to a place on time, but I hope I remember to have those small moments with him, and remember just how important they are.