The more pessimistic view of a rose-sniffer is that he is usually very slow and no matter how much we demand that O hurry things along, he can only go the one speed. O is a boy and at that, a very active boy. He rarely stops to rest. Much like his brother, Z, he's always on the move. But the way that O moves is what I'm writing about here. There is no rushing the boy, because he appreciates each step he takes and the changing scenery from each new position as he crosses a room.
From O, I have been reminded that even in simple movements, I can slow down and really appreciate my surroundings. This is the last (for now) in my mostly unread series about the fruit of our children, but I don't care. Perhaps one day, my children will read these posts for themselves and see something in themselves that I see and appreciate.
As a young girl, my mother would read to me the story of the Poky Little Puppy. I loved the story of the little pup who was easily distracted by things in nature and before he knew it, he was late coming home for supper. O is a lot like that pup. If we don't stand over him when he's been assigned even a simple task, he is so easily swept up by his curiosity and interest in whatever that he may never get to the task before the sun sets on the day.
Of course, such habits can take their toll on a family like ours, who is often on the go. Quite regularly, O is the last to load into the vehicle to leave the house and that's only after we've been hollering at him since we decided to go. But there are times, when we have "more" time and I find myself delighting in watching him find his shoes and all the other activities that get in his way during the search, until finally, he forgets entirely his original goal and finds something else entertaining to do until we coax him back on the right track.
Even though I tend towards a more Type-A personality according to tests and stuff I've read, there is a part of me, instilled mostly by my mother, I think, that takes joy in simple things that God places in my view at seemingly random times. A pretty sunset, the perfect flower, a delicious scent coming from somewhere I must pin down, some music coming from afar and luring me closer to listen or just a moment with one of my children that if I was moving too quickly, I would have missed completely.
Stopping to smell the roses (rose-sniffing) is one of those skills or gifts or talents that I think is what keeps a high-strung individual like myself more balanced and sane. Before the kids came along, I was way over on the Type-A side of the house, but it's the kids who have forced me to be more flexible and forgiving -- of them and myself. Considering the health risks serious Type-Aers are usually looking at, my kids may have saved my life!
Though my A-side is often frustrated with O's pokiness, I've found an ability to admire that quality. I want to learn from O to maybe not be quite so slow in accomplishing things, but to take more in during my day. I want to appreciate the finely detailed work of Our Father who could have made every flower and tree look the same, but who instead created thousands of species for us to enjoy and study. That's true for anything in creation. Even identical twins have subtle differences that people who pay attention can identify. Amazing!
And probably off the subject here except for the fact that I stopped to listen to my kids one morning amidst rushing around and jotted down this conversation, so I wanted to share it here:
O: (To J) You don't need a new bike! You have a teeny one in the garage. You never ride it.
J: (Frustrated) Oh! You don't even know how to ride a bike ... especially one without wheels!
I think she meant training wheels, but the concept of riding a bike without wheels caught my attention and made me laugh.
Later that same day, we were taking Z's bike to get the tire fixed at the shop (it had a serious flat) and on the drive he suddenly spoke out to no one more particular than the universe, "Is it a problem that I love touching my bike so much?" To which, we all burst into laughter as he sat there lovingly stroking his handle bars and staring longingly at the frame.
Soon we'll be taking off on a family road trip. The whole idea of taking our time to see and appreciate things along the way will be crucial to our enjoyment and experience. I pray all of us can get into that mode and maybe follow our youngest leader's example. It's vacation after all!! This will be the perfect time to be poky.
Happy Summer Solstice (and Father's Day) to the families out there. I'll write about our trip when I return. In the meantime, I'll be journaling by hand!!