What Kids Can Teach Us About Slowing Down In This Hectic World

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46348665_10217489393530872_4858542235882356736_nThe wonderfully carefree toddler that is Baby B, enjoying a nice carousel ride at the mall

As I am typing this, it is after 12am on a Friday morning and I am fried from the day before. I am just wrapping up the day’s work but my brain keeps going and spinning and winding down paths I desperately need to avoid if I want to sleep.

“How can I make more money?”

“What is the next stream of income can I create?”

“Should I take this course? I really should re-enroll in school and finish up my bachelor’s.”

“Oh, I have a phone interview tomorrow. What time? Great. I’m so ready. But not really.”

This is a very typical midnight session in my head. This is around the time my brain slows down and I mentally cannot get out anymore words with whatever freelance project I’m working on, so I start shutting off. My computer is first, then time for my brain, which never really stops sprinting down rabbit holes, so my computer comes back on, because I might as well be productive in some way, right?

Whenever this happens, I think of my son. I think of how wonderfully carefree he is. I think of his beautiful face and his soft features. I think of his goofy little grin and gapped-teeth that’ll probably need braces one day. I think of his sweet demeanor and how he couldn’t care less about the stresses in this world. He has no idea that mama stays up late working to build a business. He has no inkling that daddy works on our new homes renovations until midnight after being at his job all day, just to wake up the next morning to do it all over again. He has no idea that mommy is stressed and daddy’s body is sore. All this little boy cares about is the time he has with us. Our hugs, our kisses, our smiles. Our cuddles and enormous amount of love that wraps him like a blanket.

My toddler does not care about bills or phone calls or deadlines or putting up sheetrock. He does not care that the first two years of his life were lived in a less than ideal situation. My toddler stops while we are walking to the park to pick up a dull, less than impressive rock. To him, this rock is incredible. He shows it to me and says “biiiiig rock!” over and over until I repeat it back to him.

My toddler screams out “EAGLES!” every time we pass a football billboard. He is obsessed with sports and luckily for him, we live within walking distance to many sports stadiums.

My toddler has taught me to appreciate the little things in life. To look at that rock and see just how great it can be. To observe that billboard and think about how fun it would be to throw around a football or even attend a game when he gets a bit older.

These things are miniscule, but they matter. My son, the energetic, sweet 2-year-old that he is, has been the best teacher I have ever had. These past 24 months have been a non-stop learning session. I am a work in progress, slowly learning to stop. Stop and pick a flower. Stop and look at the Halloween decorations. Stop and pick apples from the orchards every fall. Slow down and yell “moo cows!” out of the car window because that’s what adults do, right?

Slow down and appreciate life. Appreciate every small thing life has to offer. Yes, our days are filled with stress and busy schedules and lack of sleep, but there is an overabundance of love, affection, and warmth. Slow down so you don’t miss it.

-Halle

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