I have been given a bit of a reprieve this week, with the older three in a camp for much of the day. I have had the chance, with more breathing room, to give some quality time to Tim, who has pretty much been dragged this summer from pillar to post in our quest for absorbing fun for everyone, while his preference is a much slower pace. I always struggle to give any of my four children quality time the way I’d like to, but now that summer is winding down, so am I. That early summer energy has evaporated, and slowing down is my deepest craving. With this week’s unexpected opportunity to follow a more relaxed rhythm, I developed the theory that it would actually be possible to “schedule” “space” for me and Tim. Yes, the dishes and laundry and other housework would all get done, hundreds of meals would all be prepared, but nestled into that activity would be a breathable pause each day this week, for Tim and me to just be. So I set aside the hour from 10 to 11, intending that that time be completely open and slow and Tim-driven.

We began on the first day by cutting paper. Tim is getting a kick these days out of painstakingly cutting hundreds of tiny slits in a piece of paper — toward no particular end. I keep him company and talk to him and stay next to him, but he’s really doing his own thing in a very focused way.

When even the deliberate Tim started losing interest in this, I asked if he wanted to go outside to swing. Normally, 99 times out of 100, if Tim asks me to push him on the swing, I am unavailable for one reason or another. His face lit up at hearing ME offer, for once.

Like Jane, the oldest, Tim is an epic swinger. He can swing for an hour straight. It is so nice and green and peaceful in our backyard, so this was a golden opportunity for some quiet time together. We listened to the sounds around us, and he became eager to know more about cicadas, since we rarely actually see one. In the process of explaining what I knew about them, we learned a bit about trees, too. We swang in silence for while longer, and then Tim said, “I’m tired.” Rarely do we have the chance to listen to our real body rhythms, we two. We are too busy running. It felt so good to let him follow his own lead on what his body needed.

So we came in, got a drink, watched a couple You Tube videos about cicadas, read a book, and off he went to sleep. No nap in the car, squeezed between errands. No curtailed nap squeezed between drop-offs and pick-ups. Just a long, slow, lazy summer nap.

I got to enjoy the peaceful feeling lingering on as he slept, and pondered the discovery I’d made: that space CAN be scheduled, and slow rhythms are possible within the madness. That is not a lesson I want to forget.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Monyca Nielson
    Aug 11, 2012 @ 01:36:17

    Love this. What a good lesson to be reminded of.


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