With the start of another school year, my stress level has already started to steadily increase. I am anxious thinking about each of my six children and where they will be at the start of the fall semester. The lazy dog days of summer are quickly coming to an end and I’m not ready for the back to school chaos to begin.
I feel as if I need to say a quick prayer, fasten my seat belt, take a deep breathe, and “Hurry”!!!!
Hurry here! Hurry there! Hurry up! During the school year, it seems as if I’m programmed to say “Hurry!” the minute I wake up and my feet hit the floor. Why?? Why does everything seem to run at full speed? Why can’t the prayer, seat belt, and deep breath program me to slow down, be patient, settle, and be calm.
I’m reminded of a time when my children were younger and I had 2 toddlers at home.
Sadly, they were also programmed to hurry- Hurry and wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, take the “big kids” to school, go to Mass, run errands, eat lunch, build blankets forts, clean up, take naps, wake up, pack a snack, get in the car and hurry to pick the “big kids” up from school.
Hurry was my word….until one day when we happened to have a few extra minutes before school pick up, I decided to take my younger 2 children to get some frozen yogurt for their afternoon snack. They were so excited as I held them while they pressed their tiny hands and faces against the glass case filled with colorful tubs of ice cream and yogurt. They chose their flavor (cotton candy of course) and stood by me as I paid the cashier.
I led them to a table and handed them their frozen treats. Before he took a bite, my youngest looked at me and asked,
“Do we have to hurry?”
I had no words. I stared at both of them and said, “Of course, not- No hurrying. Just enjoy your ice cream.” I often think about that moment when I’m in a rush and hurrying to do what needs to be done or to get where I need to go. It’s the present moment that I keep missing.
I don’t want myself or my children to be programmed and conditioned to rush through the moments in life. Life goes fast anyway. Why hurry, speed it up, and make it feel rushed, frazzled, and scattered?
Although the this school year has begun, I’ve promised myself and my children that prayers will be said, seat belts will be fastened, deep breaths will be taken, and moments will be savored and enjoyed because time will never slow down- it’s why we have to.