What My Son Teaches Me About Slowing Down

The digital numbers staring at me from my car clock remind me that school let out fifteen minutes earlier. And I’m still waiting for my son to appear through the front doors of the building.

Picking him up at 2:20 everyday marks routine in our(my) lives. I like to have my moments behave in an orderly fashion. Most of the time, my youngest finds his way quickly to the car within my ten minute expectation. In my mind, the task is checked off and I move on to the next engagement at hand.

As I watch the trickle of jr high kids out the doors, in all their humorous array of sizes, my son remains inside. “Where is he?” I ask myself as this tick mark on my day is trespassing onto a different time allotment. He is so slow…..

Eventually, he climbs into the car. “What took you so long?” I ask. His replies vary.

Oh, sorry. I stopped in to say hi to Mr. Meyer (his 6th grade science teacher).”

So and so needed help getting his locker open so I helped him.

How do you find fault in that?

Eli finds it easy to be in the present. Once, a parent told me that she and her daughter would play a little game as they drove to school. They would compete to spot my son, who while walking to school, appeared oblivious to the world rushing by.  Happily winding his way down the sidewalk, his demeanor provided a little inspiration to a hectic morning.

My kids recently reminded me of my own battle with slowing down. I have embraced the word “pause” as my goal this year.  As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

That includes sensing nudges of the Holy Spirit.

Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning speaks most profoundly about the blessing of decelerating the speed of our moments:

“Earth’s crammed with Heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,…”

(This post is written for the Five Minute Friday writing community. Come join the fun! http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/)

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11 thoughts on “What My Son Teaches Me About Slowing Down

  1. Jeannie Prinsen

    Yes, kids have so much to teach us about living in the moment and not feeling that pressure of time and speed. I used to go to the school yard to pick up my son, and I’d end up saying to other parents, “Why do I come so early? He is ALWAYS the last one out!” 🙂 I appreciate what you say about listening to the Holy Spirit. As many of these “SLOW” posts have reminded me, God is never in a hurry. His sense of timing is so different from ours.

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  2. Kalee Gwarjanski

    My kids certainly teach me about slowing down too, or simply “pausing” if just for a moment. I love the thought of just taking a pause. My 2.5 year old could be described as a tornado but every once in a while I catch her pausing too, just like Eli. Whether it is to look at flower, smile at her baby brother, or listen to a song. I think we should all be more like them! In the link up, I wrote about watching her cloudgaze. #76

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  3. kelly @kellyblackwell

    Who’d of thought we could learn this much from our children? They rock. 🙂 It rarely stops too. My son is in college and living at home. With two cars, I am often the one picking him up. I will text him when I get out of work, call him when I am turning into the parking lot. And seriously he still takes forever to get to the car. 🙂 I need to chill out.
    Loved both quotes, but I had never heard the one from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. That was amazing.
    Dropping by from FMF (number 69)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Stephanie Post author

      I have a son in college as well. He lives at home too! He is not slow but getting him off the couch takes some time. He has taught me other lessons. The Browning quote is one of my favorites! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Jeanne Takenaka

    Stephanie, your son sounds like a sweet-spirited boy. I love that he is so good at being in the present. I’m still having to choose that each moment. It’s so easy as “the adult in charge” to be thinking ahead to the next thing. Thanks for this reminder!

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