Laura Sandefer

August 29, 2012

Slow. Children at play.

“Just. Slow. Down. The hurry hurts the children.” (quoted from a blog by Ann Voskamp.)

School day mornings are coming. What is it about the morning that triggers visceral stress in me? I don’t mean the dark and still pre-dawn part of the morning. That is when I am in my blissful, solitary element.

I’m talking about the 15-minutes-before-we-have-to-be-out-the-door part of the morning that tests me all the way down to my gut. Is this just me? “Sam, you haven’t filled your water bottle. Charlie, don’t forget you have to make your lunch! If you’d put your shoes in the same place every day you could find them every day. Charlie, I wish you would wear sunscreen. Are the dogs fed? Bye honey, sorry I forgot to kiss you! I’ll catch up with you later!”

I don’t want to be that rushed, frenetic parent. My goal early on with my children has been to act like a duck around them: calm and unruffled on top but paddling like the devil underneath. I didn’t want them to notice me being busy or rushed. I am not that good of an actor and I don’t want to fake the calm any more. I want to feel it deeply and authentically.

My summer mornings with my husband and children have been easy in pace and mood. Can I keep that feeling? Can I savor the moments even when shoes can’t be found and we’ve signed a contract not to be late?

Fall mornings are precious, too. Can I temper my churning insides to match the easy way of the birds I watch as we drive off? Can I rise above the reality of traffic and thoughts of dirty dishes in the sink? Can I be slow and beautiful inside, even on a Tuesday?

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Because the hurry hurts the children.

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