I read a great article this morning about the lesson of not rushing our children as we parent. It’s so easy to say, “hurry up,” to our kids–even at a very young age, but as impressionable as they are, it’s not safe to assume that our hurry isn’t having a long-term impact. In my case, I think I say things like, “Come on, buddy. We’ve really got to go,” or “We’re going to be late,” or “I really need you to go faster right now.” I’m not sure whether the occasional comment in this vein will cause heaps of damage, but I can certainly see how day after day of rushing our littles along could really add up to undue stress or worry as they grow older.
It was helpful to think of Henry as the article suggested: he’s a noticer, taking things in everywhere we go and not missing a beat. Admittedly, this is sometimes wearing as a parent–the constant report of all that we see or pass by can be daunting on even a really great day. But the reality is that Henry notices all of the good things. He doesn’t miss a single one. He readily stops to smell flowers, or to look at an ant pile…to point out a “cute little doggie!” or a “little tiny baby!” as he scrunches up his nose in delight.
In moments like tonight, H pauses what he’s doing to put his hand on my belly and say hello to the baby–not with words, but with a gentle tap on my tummy and a sweet look on his face like he’s absolutely planned to take the moment with his soon-to-be-here sibling. He lists off everyone when we talk about family, never missing a single member and sometimes going back, just to make sure. I could easily be irritated by all of the extra that comes with so much observing and caution and double checking, but it’s really an amazingly sweet part of who Henry is and who he’ll undoubtedly become.
I don’t know exactly how often I suggest to Henry in one way or another that we need to get moving, but I’m going to try to be more cognizant of it either way. I want him to feel the freedom to take a moment for something that matters to him–to observe, to learn, to appreciate. And I need him to be himself as the constant reminder he is for our little family–that life is precious and all too short, and that we should savor the little things and make big things out of them sometimes. Our noticer is a gift…one that two very Type A and busily scheduled people will benefit from (and do benefit from) forever. I’m so glad that another parent had the thought to share about her experience with “hurry ups,” reflecting exactly why our lives can live without them. We may end up late sometimes, and the otherwise normal parts of the day might take a different shape. But our little buddy (and his future sibling) might continue to teach us a thing or two about patience and genuine living in the process. Certainly, God is glorified in Henry’s childlike heart and curiosity and joy!
always learning to learn from our munchkin…and excited to learn from the button soon, too!