Thursday, January 8, 2009


My dad sent me this article from the Washington Post a few days ago and I've been musing over it ever since. His comment was that he hopes to take more notice of the Joshua Bells around him.

As a mother, especially of young children, I find myself using the words "hurry," "come on," "faster," "go go go!" and so forth over and over again, especially in the morning pre-school (not necessarily preschool) rush. Oh yeah, and "we're late!" Time and again I walk into Ainsleigh's room to see her sprawled on her bed talking to herself, into Donovan's room to see him picking through his dinosaurs, or out into the garage to get into the car, only to not find these children and spend precious seconds locating them crouched over a bug or flower or something. And then all of those words above are used in one giant command and we are (finally) off.

I take great pride in completing my errands in the most efficient manner possible. When I'm doing work around the house, it's all about maximizing my time. And for what? If I'm honest with myself, I know there will always be more to do. And, conversely, if I don't finish everything today, there's always tomorrow. And while efficiency is still an important part of my day, I'm using it not so that I can get to more organizing and the dreaded laundry-folding, but so that I can spend more time listening, really listening, to my children; having them explain the stories behind their pictures; observing the mess in Donovan's room not as a to-do list, but as evidence of the pretend play he has engaged in for the previous 2 hours; reading with them and talking about the stories. But also, to notice the things around me that are outside of my immediate world. To consider friends and family members and the world at large and my own personal place in it.

I find it interesting that the author noted that while most adults didn't even look at Joshua Bell as he played, every single child turned and noticed. I'd like to think that I would have stopped and listened to him perform, but I can't say for sure. Partly from this article, and partly from something my dad said to me while I was home for Christmas, I can say that it is my hope that this year I will be more aware. Aware of my kids and how they learn and explore and react to things around them; aware of Joel, the hard work he does and what I can do to be a better support to him; aware of my own needs physical, mental, spiritual. And through this awareness, hopefully I will have greater appreciation for those around me and the beauty they bring into my life. I'll keep you posted.