Friday, September 4, 2009

Hurry up!

I spend many a mornings bellering "hurry up" to my children. I get up early myself to enjoy some coffee, and to be able to assimilate to the day's routine, so I factor in the "sleepy time" my kids require to get going in the morning and to ready themselves for the walk to school. I also accompany my young son who is in kindergarten, but my daughter, 11, speeds ahead as walking with us is less "cool" than it used to be.

I will allow them time to open their eyes, and to stretch and remain silent without rousing them too much as that is what I would want, and then slowly escalate the nudges to where by the end of the hour, I am "sargeanting" them to "make sure they have their backpacks", to "make sure they eat", to "brush their teeth", and the usual list of requirements to get out the door prepared. I find tht I often am proclaiming that, " we are gonna be late, hurry up!" I spend alot of energy in trying to move their internal "dials" to panic mode as I am pacing the floor, "hurry up", to the other room, "hurry up", and then repoeating this pattern until my kids cross the finish line, which truly is the starting point of the day.

Since this is the start of a new year of school, and I am starting a new way of thinking, I have become mindful of these old behaviors escaping, and to the mention of my son yesterday that we had to "hurry" along our walk as to "not be late"; I noticed I was negatively programming him to always be looking ahead to "not be late" and realized maybe I needed to either switch to decaf, get up earlier or both, but the morning bonding does not need the stressful overtone of impending tardiness.

Today I noticed I nudged a bit (old behavior), but with a simple "don't forget your hoodie", and a " you ready to roll kids?" The same departure time, but new perspective. The air was crisp and the walk pleasnt and it was nice just observing my son skipping, and strolling as 5 year olds do, erratic. He will twirl, pick up a leaf, make a gun out of a stick, push the cross walk button repeatedly, and all without the focus or lack thereof of a youth. I should be so lucky.

We briefly sat in the schools window sill ledge, and had idle chats withother parents. I noticed the other folks and tried to simply soak in the moment. I noticed different energies and observed others who appeared to be in a "hurry" too. I then looked down to see my son wrapped around my arm with a huge contented smile as we bonded and figured, if I am pushing him so far ahead to be on time, he wont have the time to be "here" with me.

As I walked home after handing my son off to his teacher, I plugged my headphones into my ears for the nice stroll home. I observed parents with children locked in a hand to hand embrace as they interacted. On the way home, the pressure of "being on time" was relieved and the parents were walking with younger siblings to return home to await the elder sibs. The pleasant interaction and engaging nature was a happy one that I observed. Kids noticing how "tall" they were as the morning sun stretchd their shadows to only heights they could dream of reaching some day. A random hand flipping the dew off the branches then a casual brush of the moisture on clothing upon noticing the cold moisture...It is not "ignorance" of time, but "innocence" of it that our kids have, and we often enter into the reciprocated form. We could only be so lucky as to re-engage into the wonder of our children in the mornings. To start our day without stress and that of wonder, to look at the world through 5 year old eyes again... to be that lucky...

I find it funny that I was encouraging so much "hurry up" in these times as these are the times I am safe and home with those I love. These are the moments many look back and reflect that were among the most special. Why am I rushing them along to be lost in the dust of oligation? Both my kids will ventually find it no longer "cool" to spend this time with me, at least for a while, why not at least drink in what I can when I have it in front of me. What am I trying to hurry up to? Work? Stress? The "real world"? Why would I want to speed up kissing my kids on the head to wake them? Why speed up holding the hand of my son and listen to him humming a random song he learned in school awkwardly navigating through the words? Hurry to get to what? I spend all day yearning to get back to here to often only "hurry" it away.

With awareness I can work on this and try to rework my morning pattern. It takes time, and with that precious resource fleeting, I must make a solid attempt quickly. I can spend time, or waste time, but now I must manage it better. If we find that these moments in our life are not among the most blessed, perhpas we are doing it wrong...


pebbleinthepond1111 said...

Must be "in the air", Mr. Regular Guy...Just this morning an old dutch saying I saw at an Amish restaurant as a child came to mind: "The Hurrier I go The Behinder I Get." That point was beautifully illustrated as I was preparing breakfast for my 8 year old whom I have affectionately deemed "Miss Mosey". In a panic brought on by the realization that we had 15 minutes to do 30 minutes worth of 'stuff' before the bus arrived, I spilled an entire bowl of generic fruit-loops all over myself and the kitchen floor. I'm grateful that Ms. Mosey has very fast reflexes or a change of clothes would have been added to the 'stuff'. If I were to tally every "Hurry!" that comes out of my mouth when talking to my children, I'm quite certain I would be ashamed. My energy in the a.m. sets the pace for their entire day. They have enough "Hurry!" in their little heads when they get to school. My 14 year old came home this afternoon complaining that she got in trouble for being 4 seconds late to one of her classes. How can there be any order to their day when "Hurry!" is the order of the day? The "Hurrier/Behinder" adage has been on my mind quite a bit today because I, too, saw that I was setting the pace for the entire day by hitting the ground hurrying. This has been a very cool confirmation that if I want my children to grow up knowing what it feels like to be serene in spirit I must start paying attention to the way I help them begin their days. I don't want them grow up feeling the sense of urgency and time-consciousness that plagues most of us every day all day. It is my desire to teach my children the concept of living in the NOW. And that doesn't mean, "Go brush your teeth, NOW!!" Thanks for the insights, R.G. Namaste.

The Regular Guy said...

I think we are going to have some fun here...
I will have to chat with you on the "pebble in the pond", I have been sing that term for years fo something and in some of my video productions, had a pebble drop with the ripples retracting outwards - just another coincidence my dear! Welcome aboard!