Some quiet moments here at home...
...some are silly.
I was thinking of something Gwen said. (The super generous woman that sent us the package of woodland goodies.) She said that as a child, she and her mother would take long walks through the woods. Her mother would let Gwen bring home her 'finds', and spread them out on a cookie tray. They were allowed to keep their special things in empty egg cartons.
Here's a butterfly we found last week. Although I miss wintery weather, one perk of living so far south is that we still have butterflies this late in the year. Or at least, we're still finding their delicate bodies.
I love that image...little girl Gwen with her leaves and stones and branches, spreading them out like the treasures they truly are. To her, that pine cone was as precious as an emerald. Taking her time, picking her favorites to pack away in those soft styrofoam bowls.
I was touched by the gift of slowness. Children need that, I think. To a tiny person, the ability to walk slowly, look around, not rush, take time to process things...that's important.
Since Violet is so precocious, I sometimes forget that she's as young as she is. You can tell by looking at her sweet face that there is a lot going on in that mind. The clogs are turning. Yet...she's still so fresh and new. She needs time. Time to think, time to watch, time to learn, time to just be.
Obviously, as a parent, you can't always do that. You can't spend 3 hours at the grocery store, you can't walk slowly through the freezing cold rain and drench the baby, you can't stop making dinner and play Memory for two hours. Things have to get done. I get that.
Yet...I can conciously try to set aside more time, so we don't have to rush. I can get up half an hour earlier so that I don't pester her to hurry and eat her breakfast. I can schedule more time so that I'm not snappy while trying to get through my errands. I can remember to linger on that walk, if that's what she needs.
I'm going to try to let that guide me this winter...slowing down. Giving the girls the time they need. Letting them set the pace sometimes. How do you slow things down? What's working? What isn't? I'm curious how you all make more time in your lives. Even if it's just 'eat off paper plates so we skip washing the dishes', let me know what works for you and your family.