A few months ago I went to Legoland with my husband and our three sons. As you approach the entrance there is a large display that reads “Legoland” made from of course Legos.
This is a great place to take a quick photo but for anyone that has three children four and under you know snapping a good shot is anything but quick. The children wanted to look at the Legos, touch the Legos and play on them. Not stand still for a photo.
Entrance of Legoland Deutschland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I found myself hurrying them along and as the line got longer with others wanting to take a family shot the pressure to go faster intensified.
“Hurry,” I said behind my squinting smile.
Just an hour later we were in the back of the park and I was standing near a ride’s entrance behind a stroller where my Caleb was napping while the big boys and Michael enjoyed a boat ride.
I am an observer so as the time passed I was watched everyone and everything around me.
I observed a group of school aged children on a field trip playing with one of the Lego structures. They were just being kids and having fun but I could tell their teacher was annoyed. There were others waiting for their turn as well.
“Hurry,” she said.
Of course my initial reaction was self-righteous, how could she rush them along like that? They are just enjoying themselves and not hurting anyone.
But then The Lord humbled me and helped me recall my similar reaction at the front entrance with my own children.
I began to think about the question, why hurry?
We are always in a hurry.
Hurry, get you shoes on.
Hurry, get in the car.
Hurry, stop lolly gagging.
Hurry, it’s time to go.
Hurry, download faster.
Hurry, I don’t have time for red lights or a traffic jam.
As I listened to myself for the next couple of weeks I found that I was always rushing my kids along. I began to wonder if I was causing my kids to miss out on opportunities to just be kids and enjoy the moments of curious childhood.
Not to mention all the stress I am causing myself by living in this state of go, go, go. My poor tiny heart is on the verge of exploding.
With summer here (and blazing hot if I can just add that one too) in the Midwest it seems as though there is an impulse reaction to sign your kids up for every program you can. I don’t know if it is pressure to keep them learning or parents just needing to keep them in a routine.
There is the pressure to keep up and to hurry.
Summers seem to have become the busiest time of the year. With trips, camps and programs it is hard to slow down and it seems to be more difficult to track down my friends.
I thought summer was supposed to be about rest. A season of siesta.
I remember summers when I was younger: laying in the grass and making whistles out the green blades, catching lightning bugs, sleeping in the backyard, letting your bare feet withstand the hot pavement as long as you can, soaking up the sun at the pool or just laying around watching movies and reading books.
Now with all the hurry summer seems to move by more quickly than the rest of the year which leaves little time to enjoy the season.
I don’t know. But I don’t think it is a good thing that summer has gotten so busy because I am in such a hurry to keep my kids in a routine.
I have been thinking about the verse, Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted among the earth.
I can feel God telling me, Rachel, be still at the amusement park. I am in control and not the crowd of people surrounding you.
Rachel, let your spirit be still when you are running a little late.Have I not written this story down? Is the pressure to have all three children to their classes on time outside of my doing?
Rachel, be still this summer. Your children will survive if they don’t keep up with their reading and bible verses. I am in control of them too. I hold them in my hand.
I don’t know the answer to my question, why hurry but I can tell you what I am trying to stop all the hurry and work harder to be still.
Schedule lazy days into your routine.
I am trying to build more lazy days into my schedule. Somedays we just need to reset. We stay in our pajamas, build forts, play dress up and eat PB&J on a blanket in the backyard.
Bend the rules a little.
When you don’t have anywhere to be in the morning it is easier to feel okay about letting your kids stay up a little later to catch lightning bugs or go on a late night trip in their pajamas to grab some ice cream.
Watch when you say hurry.
I always found myself shooing my kids off the curbs at the zoo and our local amusement park. I have tried to stop rushing them along and just let them walk on the curb, at their own pace. It slows me down but within the boundaries of our day it allows them to have a little fun.
Don’t hurry, the summer will go by too quickly and it will be too cold for late night ice cream and back to backpacks and homework.