So often I find myself rushing through my own life as though it were a race. It must come from all those years of schooling and of desk work. I just struggle to shake it. Even when I'm planning a hike with the kids outdoors I rush along like a mad woman with some unidentified goal. I've actually heard myself yelling, "Let's set a pace here folks!" or "Listen, we've been looking at this tree for too long, let's move on!" And it's not just my pace that sabotages these moments with my family, it's also my complete inability to stop making everything a 'teachable moment.' "Ah, a milkweed!" I'll holler, "Those attract the monarch. Do you know what a monarch is? Why it's a blah blah blah blah blah..." Am I alone? Do you do this? Well, if you do, I think I've figured out a cure. The single best way to quit rushing around spoiling a perfectly lovely jaunt in nature is to bring a toddler.
Recently, Vincent has wanted to get "down, dooown, dooooooown!" from his stroller when we are hiking in the woods. 'Glagh. This is gonna hold up the whole show...' was my first honest to god thought when I set his little observer's feet on the path but then I realized, that's the whole damn point isn't it? To hold up the show. To put this mom show on hold and just hang out in the woods for a bit checking stuff out. To get down on his level and see what he is seeing. To feel the texture of tree bark, to get covered in burrs and to be amazed by tall mushrooms growing along the path. Deep breath. This is the time we are given. Why not toddle around in it?