Parent’s running out of time

This morning I was taking my children to school. My daughter goes to a different school than my son, which means we have to drop my son first and then walk up the hill with my daughter to get into the car and rush to her school. We did leave early to get there on time. To my surprise my son said “Some days we come early”.

My daughter loves to take things from our house, today’s items where 5 little books. I asked her to leave them in the car so we can move swiftly and get the job done. On our way there while crossing the road and the lollipop lady holding the traffic my daughter slips, hurts her knee, cries and of course drops her book! A polite man picks up one of them and hands them over. I try to see if she is OK for 5 seconds and continue on with my mission to drop my son off.

My son is older he wants to go quickly, his sister is younger than him and interested in all the autumn leaves lying on the ground. One is further forward and the other one further behind. I get caught up in the middle and try to convince them both to stay close.

On our way back I tend to walk ahead of my daughter because it usually convinces her to move along. For no other reason than to get to her school in time. Today though, it was a bit different.

As I walked, I looked back, my daughter was on the ground all confused and trying to pick up her little books. A very kind boy was picking her books up while I was…not looking.

That boy was kind, he had time and even when I came close to both of them he did not leave, he did not run to his class. He was going to put all of her 5 books together and help her get them. Even though I started to get her books. I took a moment to pause in mindfulness, gave her a kiss and talked to her calmly.

In that instance, I understood our problem as parents. We get too caught up to go to this place and that place and perform this task or that task. We lose the essence of what is going on. We go on autopilot, time slips from within our grasp and then we wonder how life goes by so quickly.

We all know that time is scientifically measurable. An hour is always equal to an hour, yet our perception of time changes. We feel we need to rush and our emotion of rushing makes time run out quickly.

After the incident with my daughter and the little boy I felt a sense of relief. Where we on time for her nursery? No! Was it important that we were late? It was until the moment the kind boy picked up her books.

I gave in, I patiently waited for her to move through the school grounds and slowly went up the hill to the car.

What’s the point in rushing anyway? No one’s life is on the line but ours. Slow down, be mindful and take notice of what goes on in your life. Don’t allow time to steal your life away.

Photo by Ben White