Life is so busy, unfailingly busy. We’re always in a rush, flying from one thing to the next. Dashing out of the door in the mornings to get to school on time, then maybe errands or on to swimming lessons and hastily heading home for a couple of hours to attempt to get the house in some semblance of order. For as long as I can remember, every time I go anywhere with my Rose she is without fail lagging about four steps behind me, calling “Slow down Mama”. My automatic response has always been “Come on Rose, keep up”. Then yesterday it hit me, the weight of the realisation so heavy upon my chest that I almost burst into tears whilst I was sitting down at the kitchen table, finally grabbing the chance to eat some breakfast after dropping her off for her weekly kindergarten session. She’s only three years old, her little legs simply can’t go any faster.
All this time I have been urging and expecting her to keep up with me, instead of just slowing down myself. Painfully obvious, I know but it felt like some kind of epiphany. Why not hold her hand and walk along beside her instead of reaching for it to propel her forwards? And what exactly is the big rush anyway? Will it be the end of the world if we are a few minutes late for an appointment or at kindergarten that morning? I think not. If we see a feather we like we will stop to pick it up, or pause to tuck a particularly smooth, round pebble away into our pockets. When a bird perches on a fence beside us to sing a tune, we will stay and listen for a moment or stop to point and smile at a castle-shaped cloud in the sky. Together we will walk. She and I, side-by-side where we belong and she will show me all the beauty in the world that is so easy to overlook.