One morning while taking my six year old to school, my two year old daughter unknowingly put me in check. After walking the older one to her class, I started the trek back to the car with my toddler. I remember getting frustrated because she was walking soooooooo slowly and it was going to take FOREVER. That morning, I swear I was the only parent with a child who refused to be carried. There must have been a million moms zooming past me carrying their toddlers and babies in a speed walk to their cars…. And then there was my daughter- "Nooooo! Down! Down!" We were about halfway to the car, when my little muffin found a sign. She plopped right down on her bum and started inspecting it. Oh jeez. That’s just perfect. Now we’re never getting home, I thought.
She started asking me the names of every. letter. in. the. sign. I’m not really sure what happened next. Maybe I took a deep breath and got a little extra "patience filled" oxygen. Who knows. What I do know is that I gave in. Totally and completely. I plopped down next to her and inspected every inch of that sign with her. And I enjoyed it. I had the patience for her that I have on a daily basis for other people’s kids. I didn’t actually have to be anywhere that day. Sure, I had a list a mile long of stuff I had to get done at home. But I didn’t have to be at work, I didn’t have any appointments, I didn’t even have to get home to walk the dog. I realized that day how truly insignificant my list of "stuff" was in the grand scope of things.
We spent about 5 minutes there, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you’re one of those crazy "hurried" people, it’s a lifetime! In that moment, I felt so many emotions. Guilt- because I knew that I had ignored so many small, special moments. Shame- because I felt like a failure as a parent. Peace- because I knew I had realized something huge and things were going to change. I decided to hold on to the peace and try to let the others go.
I want to remember in every moment of every day that there’s really no hurry, just a life to live.