Just like most other families, our house has a list of "bad words" we try to avoid saying and hearing. Our list is probably similar to most other homes - we don't allow swear words, we aren't fans of "stupid" or "idiot", and we try to encourage the substitution of "don't like" for "hate". I wish I was able to add "poop", "toot", "fart", and "pee" to our list of banned language, but then what we have to say to each other over dinner? (Sigh...house full of testosterone...)
But I took a minute the other morning and realized that there are two more words that I would like to banish from our home - at least for a day. I heard myself saying them in a sharp tone of voice, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. All of the sudden I remembered vividly how I felt as a child hearing these words and I cringed. Wasn't I going to be the mom who didn't say that to her kids?
I know they can be used appropriately. I understand that they are necessary, at times even imperative for safety. But so often I hear myself muttering them, not for any reason other than my own poor planning and frustration.
I wish my kids didn't have to hear the words "HURRY UP", at least for one day.
It isn't so much the words themselves, but it is the attitude they can convey when delivered in haste. Hurry up? Is that really an important command for my children to have to obey day in and day out? I found myself rushing Cal Henry into the Nav the other day to a chorus of my own impatient "hurry up"s, and all the sudden I stepped back and realized that it does take a four year old a little bit more time to climb into an SUV and into a car seat than it might take my adult legs. Why am I expecting him to comply at adult speed?
I also don't like the mindset those two words establish. "Hurry up." Is that how I want my boys living their lives - hurried? Rushing from here to there with the pressure of someone else's time clock measuring their progress? I would venture a guess that things in our world would be a little more peaceful if a few adults stopped living in the hurry up mode.
Kids are kids. It is their nature to move at a more inquisitive pace than we adults do. Cal does need to take the time to walk slowly down the steps holding the handrail. Jude does want to look through all the toys in the Transformer aisle at Walmart. It is interesting. The world in general is a lot more interesting to children, and while I want to say I fully embrace the "stop and smell the roses" mentality, I often find myself tripped up by those two words - hurry up.
I understand that as adults we have commitments and I understand that it is important for children to learn responsibility with time. But for one day - one whole day - I want to banish the words "hurry up" from our home. I want the boys to live those hours at their own pace. I want them to have permission to be interested and inquisitive to their hearts' content.
So that is my goal for the next few weeks. I want to be mindful of life at the speed of children. It is going to take better planning on my part and a large dose of patience that will need to come directly from the heart of God Himself. But I am determined to do a little bit better about this. I don't want to always be a "hurry up" mom.