In telling the story of my life so far I've done a lot of painting, I haven't given you as much of the depth of me as I have of the sprinkled memories that cover the outside. This week I'll continue the story with a memory of depth that has possibly affected and molded me.
It was very possibly a summer day, we were living on the hill in the house my Father built on the hill, and I had friends. I'm not sure how many communities exist out there that are this way, but in our cozy home the children were often given free reign to run off to play with their friends. I remember going to one friends house, and then another. I think there was a vague rule about letting my Mother know what house I was at, but I can't say in retro-memory that I did that religiously.
I had a best friend. Our next door neighbor, I remember spending a lot of time hanging out with this guy, and kitty corner from the house there was another friend, he wasn't best friend material, he was one of the few parents on the block who had both parents working. One day, a day like any other, we were playing our kid games, running from back yard to back yard, exploring or playing pretend. He had to use the bathroom, so while he went into his house I waited at the back door, standing there patiently I caught from the corner of my eye him running over to this kitty corner house where the not best friend lived… and I remember crying to my Mother about the injustice of it. It's all a little hazy with time, but I do remember that feeling of betrayal as I tried to figure out why he'd ditch me like that. Now as an adult I realize kids can be dumb, but at the time it was a tragedy.
This last week has a theme, as most do… and the one thing that REALLY made it stand out to me was all the time the children and I were able to spend at the community swimming pool.
Originally, I daydreamed a lot about having a home that didn't belong to a home owners association. I do get frustrated that I cannot simply build a tower in my back yard just for the fun of it, but an association does have positive points, and in this case the positive point is that they have a swimming pool, and that swimming pool has water slides, and water slides are awesome!
I have a lot of boxes I still need to unpack, but something I've discovered is that the children will be young for a short time, and the boxes will still be there later. So we've been making the most of our time.
I've discovered a truth about ownership. Once upon a time I was told a story about how buying a used car is easier than buying a new car because all the 'kinks' have been worked out of the system already (I think that depends a LOT on the manufacturer) and it's like that with this new home. I've become familiar with what it takes to submit a warranty repair item and the children and I have unearthed nearly half a shoe-box full of scrap metal and nails from the back yard. I suppose you can call that the cost of buying a brand new home. It's frustrating, but we're making our way towards calling this a place of our own… and making a super powerful magnet to ensure the ground is nail free.
Each week I like to share parenting advice that I've learned the hard way. This week it's something very dear to my heart, basically "SLOW DOWN!"
We live in an age where everything is getting faster, instant gratification is the word of the new century and it gives us the impression that if we're not already on the last step of whatever the project is, then we're working too slow. This doesn't help someone be a good parent. Children take time, growing good kids isn't as easy as growing a plant… and it takes a lot longer, and some quality "slow down and breathe" time together.
We too often fall into the trap of believing that because we're not at the end when we are at the beginning that we need to rush everything which only causes aggravation and disharmony.
So the advice is very simple. Slow down. Breathe, if you don't get it all done today, you have tomorrow, and the next day. Time is too precious to spend it frustrated.