The pace of life is such that we often miss the melody. We hear the noise, and the noise increases the tempo, but in the hastened step the song is drowned out.

We’ve just spent the long weekend at the beach. The day we were set to leave, was of course the most exquisitely perfect beach morning and we decided to sneak in a few hours before braving the highway traffic back to reality. The little child-friendly beach we love, requires parking and walking along a wooden boardwalk before reaching the protected ‘Granny’s Pool’. Christian and my husband walked ahead, and I fell in behind, hand in hand with Rachel, trying to keep up. As we strode around one of the corners, I glanced down and realized that although she was doing her best, she was struggling to keep my pace. At that moment, although no words were passed between us, the message that bellowed inside me couldn’t have been louder- ‘Slow down Mommy’.

My pace along the boardwalk hadn’t been hers, I had been rushing, looking ahead to those in front of me and the beach I was aiming for, but in the process, I had been missing out on her world, her pace, and the things she was experiencing. Rachel was not solely thinking about the beach to come, she was not only focused on the end goal, as with many of our children, she had been trying to enjoy the walk and to take in the experiences along the way, but she had been hindered in doing so by my frenetic pace.

I look back over my life and realize that I have rushed through so much of it. Always being so focused on the goal that many times I have missed the beauty of the moment. I recall as a young child trying to constantly keep up with my father’s giant quick footsteps, and learning to run alongside him in order to keep up. This mind set has been so much a part of my life. I remember a fellow educator of a school I worked in over a decade ago asking, ‘Why do you run everywhere you go?’ My response- ‘Why walk when you can run’ … I was so wrong.

In slowing down the pace, we see things, hear things, and feel things we would never otherwise have been blessed with the opportunity to experience. So often, we rush through days, we rush through life, focused on the things we think are important, the goals we want to achieve, the aims we have for both ourselves and for our children, but in the process we are missing out along the way.

As soon as I realized what was happening on that boardwalk, I slowed right down. As I did this, I heard my daughter’s voice- she had been tunefully and happily singing one of her made up songs. I saw her smile at the shaggy dog that excitedly ran past us, tail sky high and wagging. I felt her small fingertips wrapping around mine. I saw her reach out towards a bright purple flower sprouting from the succulents along the sidewalk. I was able to experience all that beauty which I had been missing because I SLOWED DOWN.

The lesson to me is the lesson to so many of us today. Slow down mom. Slow down dad. We’re missing out. There’s nowhere more important that we have to get to, and nowhere more important that we have to be… than right here in the moment with our children, no matter their age. Stop. Hear the music of their hearts, listen to the melodies they are singing, feel the space they are in.

Just… slow…. down….

Breathe in…feel the air… listen to the sounds…and only then can you share in the enjoyment of the music of life…

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