I was tempted to say, as usual, “Hurry up! Unhook your seat, let’s go! You’ll be late!” as we prepared to leave the car for Elijah’s gymnastics class. Truth was, we weren’t actually running late (surprising for the Harvey’s, I know!). I stood in the 14 degree weather at the open rear passenger door and watched him, wondering just what it was that caused no response from him, considering the lack of the usual repetative announcements regarding tardy arrival times by yours truly.
Elijah had a juice box in his hands, remnants of the Happy Meal on the run in the car. Straw in his mouth, he sucked determinedly, crossing his eyes as he looked down the straw to the top of the box. Closing one eye, then the other, he tilted the juice box left, then right, twirling it just so, to empty the last drop of apple juice before we headed off to tumble. I stood silently for a change, and leaned my forehead against his as he completed his task. I rush everywhere, stressing myself out over a schedule of my own design. I holler, fearing over the loss of two minutes of preschool or for fun tumbling; I find myself tsk-ing over the timing of dinner table setting; I nag about the speed of toy pickup; I rush the gaggle of children into Journeyland before Sunday service, hardly taking time for more than a smile and quick hug before I rush away again.
All rushing activity is immediately followed by the same old “hurry up!”. My eye is an inch from his as I understand in this moment that my rushing is unnecessary and he will be beyond this three year old juice box physics lesson in the blink of an eye. His eye turns toward mine. “Come on, Mom, let’s go,” he smiles, shaking his empty juice box. I wil not get guilty over the thousands of previously rushed outings I’ve subjected him (and everyone else!) to. Instead, I hold his hand as he skips across the parking lot and smile myself, in grateful acknowledgement of a moment on this cold January day that I chose not to miss.