Schedules are crazy, life is messy, and sometimes we run late – like, a lot of the time (even right now – I was going to write this last week). In spite of our best efforts, and all of the super-cute calendars, it seems that I heard myself telling our littlest one to ‘hurry up’ on a pretty regular basis. Hurry up so we can get there, hurry up so we can get back, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up! She usually does pick up the pace to some degree with my insistence, but at what cost?
Most of the time we are telling our little ones to move along, it’s because they are doing something in a less than time-efficient manner. In other words, they are being kids. One of the greatest things about childhood is the insatiable curiosity – the irrepressible imagination and the belief in the possibility of all things. Where does that spirit of wonder and awe go? Why don’t I know any grown-ups that are as happy to get up in the morning as our 8-year-old is?
I am afraid that we are scheduling it out of them. We are signed up for this and that and everything runs on a calendar designed by grown-ups and for the convenience of other grown-ups. I love that our daughter thinks that she can smell rainbows – maybe she can. I don’t remember what the book says about rainbows although I am sure it must have been covered. Maybe if I hadn’t been in such a hurry I could have smelled it too.
So, going forward, I am going to try to stop telling her to ‘hurry up’ so much, and start noticing what she’s doing that is slowing her down. One morning she was running late because she had to rotate her stuffed animals so that the one’s on the desk got to go to the bookcase, and the one’s on the bookcase went to the bed, thus moving the one’s on the bed to the desk. Sure, they make pills that would probably stop her from trying to keep things fair for the stuffed animals, and probably even one’s that would take the smell out of the rainbows. But I really like those things about her.
The magic is in her spirit and her ability to notice the most mundane of details and appreciate them all. So, we are going to start helping her spend her time on the things that are important to her by reminding her of what all she needs to do to get out the door for school in time to be there when the bell rings – she wants to be there, she just gets a little lost in the moment sometimes. This fall she has her own list of the things that she knows she’s responsible for and I am going to leave it at that. If she happens to miss a sock or we don’t get to a lesson exactly on time, I am not going to yell ‘hurry up’. I would rather live in those moments with her than to pull her along into the next one. The house won’t fall apart in a week and we can always re-evaluate our new system of honoring her creativity and play.