I am trying to teach Big Brother A this. He does not believe me.
I love the idea of allowing our children to live life unrushed. It sounds so sentimental and sweet to say that children need time to explore and should never be told to hurry up. It totally sounds like the kind of parent I want to be.
But I've met my kids. It's not happening.
Grownups need to learn how to live life unrushed. We're always on the move. We're always thinking about the next thing we need to do. There are expectations on our lives. We're always on the clock because we're nearly always reachable through technology.
Children don't need to be taught how to move slowly (I'm talking about life's pace, not rate-at-which-they-tear-apart-the-whole-living-room; we're working on slowing that one down). They get it. They're wonderfully good at taking in the surroundings. Big Brother A points out beautiful ceilings in places I've never looked up. We see rainbows everywhere. Pretty leaves on the ground. Trucks on the road. Big Brother is taking in everything.
Everything except the urgency behind my requests as we're trying to get out the door. My over-the-top requests, like "please accomplish your 1.5-minute tooth-brushing routine within the next 10 minutes."
So I teach my children to hurry. They need to learn efficiency and focus. They need to learn that getting my tasks done quickly gives me lots of time to enjoy in whatever way I choose later.
And sometimes, when my Google calendar reminder says "You have no events scheduled today" and Big Brother A takes less than an hour to eat, I let my kids teach me how to take life slowly.
Fall is a perfect time for that. There are amazing details everywhere, and little children are amazing guides when it comes to exploring outside.
So today we explored our world. Well, we explored a very small chunk of it at a very slow pace. It was lovely.
Because we had such a fun time and in case you didn't have a 4-year-old tour guide today, here's a little piece of our world through the eyes of Big Brother A and Baby S (who is clearly a toddler now, but for sake of consistency, I suppose he's stuck with that name).
This is a giant bug Big Bro found. We're guessing queen ant. I would never have noticed this thing on the huge parking lot we were crossing, but he spotted it right away. Kids are awesome like that!
We took the long way home. And then backtracked to find Baby S's boot. And then took the short way back. So we covered it all.
Big Brother A collecting all the different kinds of leaves he can find so that he can make a tree guide book.
A ladybug that was going to be his pet forever. It flew away. He moved on. He also got over the lost friendship with the slug that was living on his bucket for the first half of the walk.
I love how brave this boy is getting. He used to need me next to him, but he's off having his own adventures now while I help Baby S learn to navigate the playground. Pretty soon neither of them will need me to hover. I love watching them play!