Every so often I take the time to go at the pace of my littlest. It’s not easy. I think I found it easier with my first, but ten years into my mama journey I feel rather more out of patience and rather more full of so many other things that need doing. Finlay is often having to find his own things to do while I attempt to strike off anything I possibly can on my long to-do list each day. There is always so much to do. And sometimes, the more there is to do, the more I find myself needing to slow down, hit the pause button, just stop. Put it to one side. Be content within the chaos that makes up my every day life.
So, today, I decided to let go of rushing home to continue packing boxes, washing up, tidying the ever-increasingly-messy house – and walk at Finlay’s pace home. It was hard. I made the decision to go his pace, and I soon found myself saying ‘come on, Finn’ – then stopping, and taking a pause to look at the bush he’d just ploughed into on his bike (deliberately). I also struggled within me to accept his decision to walk a different route home. He wanted to go down the road, not immediately through the woods. I have to admit, my mama-head did kick in at that point and veer us back forest-wards as one of the things I find most challenging right now is to walk down the high street with cars rushing past and my little man on his bike. So, we did cross the common and venture in amongst the tall trees of the tangled wood – following the trail he set me, criss-crossing pathways, stopping to investigate a high oak tree, a rotting piece of wood, some nettles, wild raspberries and eventually at the very end of our trail a tiny hopping frog. I missed the frog entirely, and was striding halfway across the road wondering why he wasn’t next to me when he called me back to witness the amazing intricate dance of this tiny little being. We watched her hop across the path and find her way into the bracken. Finlay crouched transfixed, I caught myself wondering how many times I have missed tiny beautiful moments such as these in the hurry of my life.
I have to admit it wasn’t the most amazing feeling ever to walk slowly all – well, most – of the way home. The twenty minute amble became an hour and a half gentle stroll with many pauses. But Finlay was happy. And so, for a moment at least, I could take a breath and be at one with my little boy.
Before the hustle and bustle of my day took me away.
And looking back, we still have those moments – yes there were many of those ‘other’ moments during our day today when I was pushing him to be quicker, to wait a minute, sighing as he asked me to play ‘just one more time’. I am glad I took the time this morning, just for a little while. To walk at his pace, to experience the slow walk home.
Perhaps, just perhaps, life will settle down into more of this slow, gentle pace. We so need it to! And so, may it be.