Anyone with children will know that they do not rush. It doesn’t matter how many times you say you’re going to be late, we’re going to miss out, we have to leave now! They take their sweet sweet time. And wow, can’t that be frustrating! When you need them to just please hurry up!
And so, taking your time comes to be seen as a bad thing. For adults too. Our world seems to value being busy, rushing around, having one hundred things on the go at once. But what are we missing in the rush?
Yesterday, while watching my children play outside for hours at the creek, I pondered over all of this. They climbed rocks, waded in the water, made paths through the bush, did some art, collected bugs, explored the water with magnifying glasses, climbed trees, and played, and played, and played. And never did I see them rush. Never were they so concerned with doing everything at once, that they forgot to appreciate the present. They took their time. They enjoyed themselves. I tried to think back to a time when I had seen them rushing through something (without me making them), and I came up with nothing. Unless they were playing a game, running away from each other, playing hide and seek, then I can’t think of a time.
Wow. Think about that for a second. They never rush.
Does that amaze you as much as it does me? Can you remember the last time you really truly took your time? You enjoyed what you were doing without thinking of anything else? Without worrying about other things you had to be doing? Without one eye on the clock?
What a gift children are to us. They can teach us so much. If only we would listen.
“The soul is healed by being with children.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Instead of recognizing this beautiful quality of slowing down, of enjoying life, of really seeing and appreciating things, we encourage them to rush through it. To think in adult ways. Ok, there are some places we do have to be on time. But, so often (for me anyway) saying ‘hurry up’ becomes a habit, and is more about my impatience than a necessity.
All too soon they will be grown up with a job and a house and a family of their own. There is no rush. There is time. What is the point of life if not to enjoy it?
So I’m trying not to rush my kids, whenever I can. I’m trying to banish ‘hurry up’ from my vocabulary. I want to preserve this childlike sense of wonder for as long as possible. It is a beautiful quality, and I want to show them that I value it. As they grow and mature, the weight of the world might squash some of it out of them. But if I’m careful, maybe I can help them preserve just a little bit.
So, my precious girls,
I won’t say ‘hurry up’, when you’ve stopped to smell the flowers.
I won’t rush you when you’re admiring the shape of the clouds.
I’ll let you lead me away to show me that interesting bug.
You’ll join in with what I’m doing, and we’ll go at your pace.
I’ll delight in the world, just like you do.
You’re learning, and I’m learning too.
This is important. This here is what life is really about. Thank you for showing me that.