I like to start things. I like to make things. I like to brainstorm amazing ideas for books and writers retreats. I like to make lists of things to do with my bestie, amazing recipes, crafty things, building she-sheds and huge tree swings on remote farms in the countryside. I like to be busy. I like to go places, see people, explore little shops. I like decorating and making the ugly into pretty. But I have learned that I get so busy with my interests and activity, that I miss things.
I miss the details in the hurry. I focus on the destination and forget the journey, as the old adage advises. And one of the parts of life that is the most tiring taught me to slow down.
When the littlest legs in the house can only go at a snail’s pace, the entire family slows down. Daily schedules revolve around nap time and bed times, shopping trips only last as long as the youngest, and meals are eaten faster than it took to just set the table. Despite the spent energy and never-ending to do lists, I learned that the season of babyhood healed so much of me.
I was forced to slow down, attend to someone else’s speed and in the process of adoring the little love bugs, I found happiness in the slow. I found contentment in serving little ones because they came with pure hearts and true needs. Serving someone else without expectations of reciprocity teaches a heart to see past the exhaustion and lowness of the task. Serving with love, for love and because of love changes hearts- even the heart of the one serving.
Call me boring. Call me outdated. But call me content. And call me happy to separate myself from the over-glorification of being busy.
I still have my grumpy days where I am sick of dishes and diaper changes. I don’t glisten with joy when I’ve been puked on or lavish in the thought of spending evenings picking up toys- again. I wish for a glamorous day out and pampering at the spa...but those things that can wait. I only have these little ones for a short time. I pray I remember that better on the days when I want to pull my hair out. I am still in the process of learning to love laundry duty- and perhaps I’ll never get there. But one thing I have learned is that we are- I am- a better person when I slow down. I like that my older kids are learning to think of others, to put aside their own immediate wishes while we wait for a younger one, to help pick up messes and to do it with a happy attitude.
My family functions better at the speed set by the baby. We slow down. We simplify. We settle. We soften. We serve.