From time to time, I experiment with timelessness by taking off my watch.
That naked wrist feels as daring and vulnerable as a bathing suit in a January blizzard, while every glance to check the time quickens my pulse to the rhythm of the question that my heart needs to hear: What’s your hurry?
Contriving a virtue where perhaps there is none, I like to believe that I’ve acquired a “disciplined approach” to time: a “watch your minutes and your hours will take care of themselves” Depression-era frugality with the span of my days.
And it’s true enough that my huge garden and my history of homeschooling four boys have given me plenty of opportunity to fine-tune the art and science of multi-tasking. I’ve folded laundry and entertained a baby while listening to an eight-year-old practicing his piano lesson; I’ve canned green beans while quietly scribbling rhymed clues for a birthday scavenger hunt; I’ve made strawberry jam while preparing a lesson to teach at VBS the next morning.
It can be hazardous to take off your watch when you’re the only one in the house who can tell time – especially if there is a schedule out there somewhere that’s holding together a fragile infrastructure. However, it occurred to me this year (I’m a slow learner) that I’m past the mid-point in this journey of raising boys with more years of parenting in the rear-view mirror than on the road ahead. Furthermore, I’ve also noticed (I said I was a slow learner!) that all my boys are becoming competent and trustworthy — unlikely to eat Drano or to put a fork into an outlet — and are very cued-in to their own schedules and needs. They write their own work hours into pocket-sized planners carried around in man-sized pants. They can make a sandwich if they need to.
While this is a salutary thing, it also means that this metamorphosis into independence has happened right under my nose while I have been busily making pizza and grousing about the odd number of socks under the couch.
Did I hurry through potty-training so that I could hurry through tooth fairy visits and multiplication flash cards?
Have I hurried through bedtime prayers and the blessing song so that I could hurry through curfews and car keys?
What’s my hurry?
Today, I am adding my voice to the community at SheLoves Magazine where, in the month of January, we are pondering questions that compel us, stir us, and inspire us. If you find yourself hurrying through your days, join me for a much-needed reminder that your time, like your next breath, is a gift from God. While you’re there, be sure to take a look around and make yourself at home in the welcome you will find.
Image credit: SheLoves Magazine
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