When you’re halfway finished with your run and your child all of a sudden tries to sit up in the stroller and begins pointing, asking to get out to touch dead leaves on a tree…what do you do? Dead leaves? Really??
I’ll tell you exactly what you do.
You get out.
And then, once your curious child has had his need to learn and play and have fun doing important kid stuff met, then and only then, do you finish your run.
Because, you see, none of that would have ever happened “later.”
You’ll both return home happier and more fulfilled than if you had ignored his request and run on, past the trees and the water and the rocks. Past his desire to experience what he sees right in front of him, just begging to be explored.
In my pre-mommy life, I would have never stopped. NEVER. Not even to enjoy a simple, beautiful thing. I wouldn’t have even seen it, truthfully. My head would stay straight, my mind solely on the task at hand. Run first, relax later. Get the job done first. Don’t stop. That will make it take longer. Push through. Ignore. Just keep going.
Now? I stop. My runs are disjointed. They take longer or the route is cut short because it’s colder or windier than I had anticipated. Or Kellan needs something. Or dropped something.
Or he sees something that fascinates him to the point of doing everything he knows how to do to get my attention so I will stop and show him whatever it is that, at the current moment, is the coolest thing in the whole wide world.
I stop. Willingly. Happily. Unselfishly.
I’m building a relationship with this little person and I want him to know that his needs are important and that it is a good thing to stop. To take a minute – or 30 minutes – to learn about something we happen upon that was not on our original agenda.
Today was such an important reminder for me. I hope it is a good reminder for all the other parents, too.
Stop. Touch leaves. Throw rocks. Smell the roses.