The other day I went for a walk in the mountains with my two nieces and their boys. It was beautiful; lots of woods, dirt, bugs, trees, light, and shadows. I really loved it. However I noticed that others seemed to be in a hurry. Why? Where the heck did we need to be: back home to watch television? The 2-year-old wanted to play with sticks, in the dirt, walk in washed out ditches, run off the path, and basically take his time to wander. Others wanted him to hurry. “Come on,” they’d say. “If you hurry you can have some kind of reward when we get home.” Again; where the heck did we need to be? I didn’t know we had a set schedule or that we even had to be somewhere at a certain time. No one seemed hungry, or thirsty (we even had water if they were thirsty), or needed to go potty. So why the hurry?
Children have a wonderful talent for NOT recognizing the need to hurry. They are caught up in the moment of NOW. When do we lose that talent? How can we strike a balance between meeting deadlines, schedules etc and recognize that we don’t ALWAYS need to be in a hurry?
One of the things I love about my job is meandering, and wandering with the children that I babysit. Sure there are times that I need to get them to school, or karate, or soccer, or …(the list goes on). But what about the times that I don’t have to get them somewhere at a certain time? I remember my childhood really never being scheduled with anything except school. Summers were full of bug collecting, riding bikes, selling lemonade, starting clubs for my friends (I was such a nerd that I even started a library where kids could borrow my own books). Of course there were times I would have to help my mom do some canning: shucking corn, snapping green beans, picking raspberries (I hated picking raspberries). Even this was kind of fun because the neighbors were doing the same thing and we would all gather in backyards and us kids would all do the shucking and snapping together.
These are the times I want to create with my children. I want them to be free. I show them bugs, I turn over logs, I splash in streams, I let them choose if they want to go somewhere or stay home for a free day of doing whatever they want at home. I have a craft bag that I take with items that can be used to make such things as goo, magic muck, water-color paint, the best bubbles with bubble wands. I want the children that I babysit to love their childhood, and be in awe of life. In turn I want to learn to savor, love, and take time to enjoy the world around me too.
TIME…TAKE IT, LOVE IT, SAVOR IT.