Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Slowing Down to a Child's Pace

One day when my now 13 year old daughter Katie was about 1 or 2 years old, we often took walks to the park.  I remember thinking how long it was taking to get there and how I wished she would go along a bit faster to get to the park so we could play there.  And yet another voice inside my head thankfully noticed that she was having such fun collecting rocks along the way and that this was important to her.  I realized that having fun along the way mattered.  It certainly wouldn't have been much fun if I rushed her impatiently to get to the park and then expected us both to instantaneously have fun.  Why couldn't we have fun along the way?  What if we just kept along collecting rocks and never made it to the park, but we enjoyed doing so?  Well, we did it all...we collected our rocks, pet dogs, looked at birds and trees and whatever else we saw and talked about it all on the way.  We had our fun at the park and then did the same thing back home.  Having moments like that helped me to realize that old adage of stopping to smell the roses.  Another similar adage I now keep in mind is that life is made up of all the little moments.  Make all those little moments count and enjoy them, then your life and those around you will have many joyful moments to remember and build upon. 

A couple of weeks ago, we visited the beach and boardwalk.  Makana tried to climb up to the boardwalk from the sand.  She was almost up when big brother Li helped her.  Well, she didn't want that help.  She was very upset that he assisted her at all.  She got right back down on the sand determined to do it again.  She had trouble and although I offerred to build her a mound of sand to see if that would boost her up, she declined.  Eventually, with her permission, she and I built a pile of sand for her to stand on and she climbed up on her own. 

After that we played a bit more and then left peacefully.  It is so satisfying to me to help her do what is so important to her.  This meant something to her and I could tell.  She must have felt like she accomplished something big.  I would imagine that this helps her build her self-esteem.  What a shame it would be if I had rushed her along and said we have to go now and then became upset at her tears and frustration.  What would that have done to her self-esteem?  What is important to her means more to me than sticking to a schedule or following through with intentions.  Being flexible allows for the most important things to be done and for other things to be rescheduled or even canceled.

Playing on the sand before we left the beach.

Makana wanted her picture taken by the slide.

I love living my life - our lives - this way!  I would imagine that it seems like I am catering to my children's wants much of the time.  Yes, that is exactly what I try to do!  I try to meet as many wants (including mine and Wolf's) that I can!  I am so grateful to be able to think deeply about this and to meet many of our desires.  Awesome!