Do you ever get the distinct impression that you’re being taught a lesson? That something is being whispered to you and it enters your consciousness, and suddenly it’s everywhere in your life? I have this feeling now, and the lesson is about slowing down.
I have to take care to not let each day become a race to bedtime. A race to morning snack. A race to “Are you all buckled up?” A race to hair washed and lotion applied and clean pj’s on.
There is pressure every day to be where we need to be, clean what we need to clean, make the phone calls, plan the meals, check over the homework. Pressure even for me time, for us time.
As a social worker I learned to assess where people I encountered were given the context of their lives. In other words, how did their family and background, socioeconomic status, housing stability, HIV status, etc. work together to make them who they were as they stood in front of me?
As a new mom I learned that it was also helpful to approach my children with an understanding of where they were developmentally.
In both these situations, as a clinician and a parent, the question became: Do I see you as you are, or do I see you as I want you to be?
With my children, I am guilty of not seeing them as they are in one important area: pace.There is a slowness to children, a lack of urgency. Their curiosity tells them to stray from the sidewalk and pick up sticks. Throw rocks in the creek. Instead of accepting that this is essential to their development, I hurry them along and herd them in whichever direction I’m moving.
Time to get your coats on. Tie those shoes. Hurry up!
The lesson I’m working on is to stop expecting my children to move at my pace. To see their curiosity and endless questions and rocks ready to be thrown into creeks through their eyes. They are full of wonder, and they are wonderful.