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Slow Down, Mama

I'm always in a hurry. Most days I'm rushing my family out the door to get somewhere by a certain time. I catch myself too often telling my kids that we are running late and we need to hurry up. Now don't get me wrong, there are definitely things we have to be on time for, like work, or doctor appointments, but why am I always in such a hurry for everything else? Will it really matter if I get to the grocery store at 5:45 instead of 5:30? Probably not. If it doesn't really matter, then why am I unknowingly teaching my boys that rushing through life is normal? I shouldn't be.

Life is so precious and beautiful. For me, one of life's most precious gifts is parenthood. One huge perk of being a mama, is getting to look at all of the little details of the world, and see them all again for the first time. Only this time, you get to enjoy them through the eyes of your child. Let me tell you, there's nothing like seeing your child's face the first time they see Christmas lights, or a butterfly, or a puppy, or even something as simple as a bubble. I don't want to rush my children through these special experiences. I don't want to rush them through any of their new discoveries.

My three year old son is quite the explorer. He's someone who, quite literally, takes time to to stop and smell the flowers. (Not kidding, during trick or treat last year he would stop to smell the flowers at almost every house we passed. Who needs candy??) He is always stopping on his walk from the garage to the car and looking for new treasures in our driveway. Almost every morning, he's pretty stoked about finding a new rock.

A few weeks ago we were heading over to the car when I noticed that a large pile of leaves caught his eye. I was waiting for him to take off towards the pile, all while preparing myself to give my usual speech on hurrying up so we wouldn't be late. I watched my adventurous little explorer look at that leaf pile with excitement, to then look back at me, and just walk right over to the car. He didn't even try to convince me to let him jump in the leaves. My heart broke a little bit.

I stopped him and said, "Did you see those leaves?" He smiled and said "Yes, mama! Can I jump on them?" I replied with "Of course!" We then spent an extra 30 seconds of our morning crunching leaves beneath our feet and giggling. Even my one year old got a kick out of it (I was holding him on my hip the whole time). Guess what? We weren't late. We weren't even almost late, and it made his morning. He spent the whole car ride talking about how much he loved leaves. I made his day by letting him spend 30 extra seconds stomping on a pile of leaves.

I'm telling you, from one mama to another, just slow down. Jump in the leaves. Make the snowball. Stop for ice cream. Smell the flowers. Look at the caterpillar. Watch what their little minds discover and then go enjoy it with them. Laugh and giggle with them, and show them how special even the simplest things of the world are. Take the extra 30 second of your morning to make their entire day. They're only this little and curious for such a short time. Nurture their curiosity, and don't rush them through new discoveries. The grocery store isn't closing anytime soon, and no one is going to care if you are a few minutes late to the restaurant. But when you get back home, that pile of leaves might have already blown away. Don't walk past your leaf pile - just jump in.

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