Recently I was carrying my almost-four-year-old son across a parking lot, even though he is well past big enough to walk alone. As I was carrying him (and his little sister) he told me, “Mom, you’re doing a great job!” He took a short pause. “But could you go a little faster?”
Maybe you know a little boy or girl like this. My son walks fast, talks fast, and loves fast. I’ve had to tell him, “We don’t hug everyone you meet.” Just because that lady looks like a grandma, doesn’t mean she is your grandma. High gear is his only speed; unless he is slowing down to love on you.
This week we ended up at Immediate Care two days in a row. Yes, two days in a row. The third time in 18 months, partly becuase he’s always moving too fast. I’ve recently implemented a blackout on our TV, or at least a semi-blackout. In an attempt at avoiding the big black screen in the living room, the kids and I were in the front yard enjoying the shade that the house provides in the late afternoon. My son decided he wanted to help me water the flowers, which I readily agreed to. He picked up the watering can and was on his way to the backyard to fill it up. He ran a few steps and then tripped over his feet and landed his chin square on the bottom of the metal watering can. Immediately his hands went to his chin and he started crying. He walked over to me and when he took his hands away I saw that he was bleeding. I resisted all my natural instincts of freaking out, in the name of being a good mom.
We were in and out of Immediate Care in a relatively short amount of time. They were able to use glue to repair the split in his chin. We were headed home with an encouraging, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing him again!” from the nice physician’s assistant.
The next day he was out in the tractor, helping his dad and grandpa bring in the wheat for harvest. He ended up slamming his hand in the door of a tractor. I was in disbelief when I heard that he might need stitches. We were just at immediate care the night before! But into town we went, and indeed he did need stitches this time. Three of them. We saw the same P.A., much sooner than I had hoped. Maybe watching TV wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
As I was driving home I began thinking of all the times that I say, “Hurry and get your shoes on so we can go!” “Hurry and brush your teeth, it’s time for bed.” “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” I think the real question should be, why am I always in a hurry? I expect the kids to drop what they are doing and immediately do the task I have deigned most important. But is it really that important? If we don’t get to bed within five minutes, what’s the worst that will happen? (My bowl of ice cream will wait.) If we don’t get out the door in 10 minutes, will we be late? (Likely, yes.) But in the bigger picture, do we really need to be rushing all the time? The answer to that is definitely no.
It’s a wonder our kids’ heads don’t spin from the constant confusion we throw at them, “Hurry, do this!” “Slow down! Don’t run!” Slow. Fast. Slow. Fast. It should be obvious why they look at us in total confusion.
My son is a wild child by nature and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. Truthfully, I hope it doesn’t. I hope someday his energy will be harnessed into something great. Maybe a doctor in the Immediate Care that we are becoming frequent fliers to or maybe a farmer. Or maybe it will be something I can’t even imagine yet. In the meantime, I am hoping we stop treating life like there is always a fire we are trying to get to.