Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Hurry Up and Slow Down
A children's book with a moral for moms...
We are studying turtles this week and I found this cute book at the local library. I figured it would have an excellent lesson for my children on being diligent, swift to obey, while always be sure to do a good job. But instead, the moral was for me
Hare is a fast mover. Always on the go. Always asking Tortoise to hurry up. He never wants to sleep in, never wants to be still, and is ready for dessert before Tortoise has even take his first bite of lunch. (Hmm.. sure sounds like some preschoolers in my house!).
But then comes Tortoise's favorite time of day, when Hare settles down to sleep. Tortoise fixes a cup of chamomile tea and just as he sits, the plea comes... can you read me a story? And Tortoise, who always moves slow, reads the book just as fast as he can, eyeing his rapidly cooling tea the whole time.
Hare looks at Tortoise... Hurry up and Slow Down! We need to take time and look at the pictures. Tortoise smiles at Hare, and reads the book again, nice and slow.
I am the Tortoise.
All through my day I find myself running to keep up with children three steps ahead of me. And then, just as the nap time begins or as the sun sets, I with lightning speed rush through the bedtime routine. In the window of time when my children are actually ready to sit and listen, I have no time for them. Instead I rock my children with one eye fixed on the computer screen, longing to update my facebook status. I mindlessly read a chapter of Heidi while contemplating my to-do list for the next day.
Then the questions come. Mommy, why did Jesus die? Mommy, where is heaven? Mommy, why does my tummy hurt when I do something wrong? Mommy, can I have a water cup?
I need to hurry up and slow down. Childhood is amazing -- they need to go fast all day, after all, there is an entire world to discover. But they need me to sit slowly with them at night, while they try to make sense of it all.
I am thankful for children's books that aren't afraid to put a Momma in her place.