Slowing Down

There is something to be said for slowing things down a bit.  I’m always rushing from here to there.  So much to do, so little time.  Big kids off to school, start the laundry, empty the dishwasher, third kid awakens, 5 rounds of Candy Land, check the phone, check facebook, empty the garbage, load the dishwasher, change the laundry, someone needs to potty, make breakfast, fold the laundry, change our clothes, go to the store, hit the library, go to the post office, check email and facebook in the parking lot, head back home, unpack bags, play barbies, make lunch, fold more laundry, get your shoes on, off to preschool, back home, check email and facebook, grab dog for a walk, do some work, 30 minutes to relax, first kid home from school, walk the dog, preschool pickup, third kid home from school, homework, start making dinner, out the door for evening activities, back home, take showers, read books, bedtime for everyone, five minutes later I’m asleep on the couch.  Rest and repeat the next morning.

WHOA!  Wait a minute!  Can’t we slow it down a little?  At what point during the day did I sit back and appreciate life?  Do I even remember any of it?  How many times did I tell my 3 year old to “hold on a sec” or “just a minute” or “let me just do this really quick” or “I’ll be right back, mommy needs to grab something”?  My life has literally gotten out of control.  My son comes home from school and longs to play 15 minutes of hockey with me, but I’m so worn out from all of the running that I don’t have the energy and I tell him I will later.  Well, later comes and we get busy on something else and I never follow through with my promise. 

My time with my kids is finite, not infinite.  I only have them for a few more years until they leave for college and embark on a life of their own; for my oldest, that is 6 years from now, for my middle, 9 years.  I have them for less time than they have already been on this earth and I am missing out.  These years don’t even include those high school years where they pretty much think they already live on their own, but they sleep under your roof.  My time with my kids is precious and I need to treat it as such.  

What would happen if I left the dishes on the counter and danced with my 3 year old?  What would happen if I put a frozen lasagna in the oven instead of a “from scratch” meal so that I could play hockey with my son?  What would happen if I turned off my phone as soon as my kids were home from school and was truly present for them at every moment?  The world would not stop.  People would still post to Facebook (and I wouldn’t be first to “like” the post).  My laundry would still sit in my dryer waiting for me to fold it (I could just put it on the de-wrinkle setting later to fluff it up a bit).  And you know what else?  I would have one happy son, a middle school aged daughter who I connected with, a three year old who has seen her mom dance like a rock star, and a husband who gets a smile and a kiss when he walks in the door from work.  What could be better than that?  Absolutely nothing. 

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