I did it again tonight. It was bedtime and I hurried her along. The request for jammies and toothbrushing turned into barked out commands. I heard it in my voice as I urged her to hurry. Why did we need to rush so? There was no fire, there was no need for panic. But yet, there it was.
Life is not an emergency. As a young mom I was always in a rush, I hurried myself and my kids. Hurry up and sleep through the night. Hurry up with bath time, it's almost time for bed. Hurry up and put on shoes. Hurry up and eat your dinner. I don't know why I was in such a hurry. But I felt compelled to move as fast as I could from one thing to the next. Sometimes we can move so quickly from one thing to another that we miss the beauty of right now. We forget that right now is the moment we have and that is the moment that counts.
Slow matters because joy is lost in the hurrying. That little leaf he bent down to inspect? And I hurried him onto the next stop. That pretty little flower near the gutter? I moved her so fast into the grocery store that she felt bad for stopping to look at it. That joke they cracked to each other in the car? I missed it because I was too focused on the endless list in front of me. Never mind that the list was self imposed and full of things that could have been put aside. I could have thrown it out the window and it wouldn't have affected our day one bit.
As a new mom I felt that security came in the schedule and joy came by getting things done. And now? I long for one more time. One more new person in the house that I don't have to hurry over. One more brilliant burst of toddler glory, complete with the messes and tantrums and stinky diapers. One more round of sleep deprived newborn days where the smell of freshly bathed baby is like a balm to an exhausted soul. Slow matters, because we miss too much in all the hurry.
And as they grow slow still matters. Slow grounds us to something far greater than ourselves, something that is stable and secure and is just what a growing child needs. Slow matters when the sports schedules become demanding. Slow matters when homework threatens to consume all. Slow is important because this mom who goes slow is better at responding with love and peace when life gets loud and harried.
I want more slow. It's a state of mind, not always a cessation of activity. It looks at life as something to take in, which is always best enjoyed in slowness. Slow realizes that moments speed by fast enough without any help from us.
And I embrace slow, it's not always doing less, but approaching life with methodical deliberateness. Slow does one thing at a time and is fully present in the moment. Slow stops to look the kids in the eyes and really find out how they're doing. Slow takes an extra moment for goodbye kisses and whispers of passion between spouses.
Slow matters because life is too important to zoom through.
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