Today has been a crazy day for me. My wife is heading home from Tennessee after dropping our daughter off at college. After getting to work early I got a call from my two daughters at home. My 14 year old rather suddenly got sick and the 18 year old was not fond of getting stuck cleaning up the mess! I had to run home to bring my 18 year old to school. That was not time I was planning on! The more I thought of this, the more guilt I felt about leaving our 14 year old at home alone feeling very sick. Under the duress of guilt I took advantage of an appointment free day and left shortly after noon, laptop in hand, to work from home. On the way I saw not one, but two fender benders. Impatient drivers who ran into the cars in front of them. I immediately though “What is wrong with those people? Can’t they slow down 2-5 seconds to drive safely?”
Then I had to smile! Here I was all miffed about taking an afternoon “off” to spend with my sick daughter. I was no different from the two people who ran into the back of cars too worried they would loose a few seconds in traffic!
Children do not move at the speed of adults. Oh, their bodies may dart around faster than we can, but they thrive on regular, routine and time together. At the school where I am principal we have had several discussions on how kindergarten children have changed over the last few years. The difference between those who have had quality time with adults and those who have not is growing. Many children now come to kindergarten unable to sit even 5 minutes while a story is read to them.
My daughter and I had a little talk, we watched some TV together and she slept. Then we pulled out a DVD we have not seen in years – School House Rock. Ahh, the memories!
You are not wasting time when you slow down and invest in your children. Those two drivers trying to save a few seconds were now pulled over on the side of the road wasting dozens of minutes waiting for the police to come and write up the accident report. Just as the impatient drivers did not end up saving time, so parents who fail to invest the gift of a simple and slow life often end up paying later. I am guessing you are going to spend time with your child one way or the other. Why not spend some quality time with them now!
May God’s grace and peace be with you,
Mark Strohm, Jr.