Monday, July 13, 2015

Growing into Slow

I am a watcher of time. Being on time means being late to me.
I like things orderly and on time. Precision makes me very, very happy.

As it turns out being the mom to kids who have special needs doesn't really work out that well with this whole little quirk of mine. 
And I get frustrated. 
Why is it so hard to move quickly? People, people, step to it. 

I am being taught some difficult lessons right now and this is one of them. 
Perhaps, just maybe, the world moves too quickly and we have bought into it.
Appointment to appointment. Checklist item to checklist item.
Where is the time to slow down and savor each small, momentary success? Do we even enjoy this race we are so determined to win? 

We live in a world where being slow is frowned upon and speeding up is a sign of your character.

These thoughts have been running through my head since last week. 
I had reached out to hold my daughter's hand and take her to play in the yard.
I wanted to push her on the swing and watch her smile.
The swing was my goal, and irritation quickly set in as I realized it would take a good ten minutes just to get her down the stairs of our porch. 

My dilemma was this, was the swing still the goal at the cost of teaching her how to use stairs?
I took the ten minutes to teach the stairs and then there was grass, uneven grass.
I wanted to just move, get to the swingset, but again she needed me to be slow. 
And so I held her hands and shuffled my own feet to the pace of hers, trying really hard not to drag her forcefully to that swingset. 

Eventually we made it, and she sat on the swing and let me push her. Her face was devoid of that smile I had worked so hard to see. And it hit me, that despite my ever moving slowness I had not JOINED her in those small steps. It was me trying to get her to go faster, trying to move my feet slower, but not really slowing down WITH her and feeling each step, hearing each movement of the wind. I was exclusive in the way that I handled her. 

And so, with great pains, I am learning not just to slow down, not just to take the time to do things, but rather to join with my child in her stillness. 
I am coming to understand that the slow pace has it's purpose and I am going to choose to honor the stillness in my life. 

Sometimes we have to go backward to move forward. This is just one of those times. Slow is often far better, carrying more significance and stealing from time in order to teach us important life lessons.