Lookin’ for fun on the way to Starbucks…slowly

I was waiting for it. My ears alert! Anticipation was high and I knew it was coming soon. And so it did. I heard my first, “Can you believe it’s already the middle of January?” The delivery of said exaggeration-it is NOT the middle of the month quite yet—was an off-hand remark with no need for me to respond. As are most rhetorical questions, there appeared to be great confidence that we were all in agreement.  I said nothing and simply ticked one thing off my list.  I had been waiting for it.

It’s true I didn’t formalize any New Year’s resolutions, but I did have a few items that made it to the top of my “things to consider” agenda.  I did resolve to stop talking so much about how quickly time is moving.  Time isn’t moving any faster.  I am. We are. And how we spend our allotted 24 hours is really mostly choice.

I had plenty of time to consider my relationship with “time” while with the girls this week. We decided that we’d take a walk “up the hill” to Starbucks and get some oatmeal. And so we set out. Almost.

Before we even made it out to the sidewalk, Sophia spied a slug on the bricks. This required intense examination and many questions.  I realized I don’t know a lot about slugs, but she is a very modern child and is already quite comfortable with letting me off the hook and saying, “Can we Google it?”

When is the last time you lovingly held a slug?

She touched and prodded for a bit and then picked it up. Karina was just as fascinated but her sister didn’t think she should touch it. The concern was for the slug, not Karina.

When I suggested we wash our hands and proceed on our walk to breakfast, the girls were concerned that something would happen to the slug while we were away. They came up with an emergency prevention plan and carried the slug over to a plant-covered area close to their garage.  It took several “put him down and pick him up again” moments until just the right patch of green seemed to offer protection.  Finally, Sophia was satisfied, and as we walked away she offered that now he would be safe from reptiles! Sophia thinks ahead!

Protecting the slug from reptiles

So we walked on. Slowly. Pinecones need to be collected and carried while entertaining conversations about the names of different flowers and plants. We discuss the birds we see and they notice every jet in the sky and they hear every emergency vehicle siren, no matter how distant. Karina greets every person on the street with a wave and a smile and Sophia is more interested in the dogs than the people. Neither of them is the least concerned with how long it takes to get some breakfast.

Stop to smell the flowers

The final long block is then measured by two girls who decide they want to walk backwards. They turn it into a fun game.  A fun, slow game.

Not walking away, but walking up the hill backwards!

Finally, breakfast...

If we would like “time” to slow down, maybe we need to add in a little more observation and delight, and make our own small adjustments. Shift the expectations just a bit. Notice the slugs and be delighted by them!

The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

Slow down, you move too fast

You got to make the morning last

Just kicking down the cobblestones

Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy

Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy…Paul Simon

Enjoy, Debra

27 thoughts on “Lookin’ for fun on the way to Starbucks…slowly

  1. I can’t believe you held back these details of yesterday. I did think you were quite ambitious walking up there while so hungry. Every day is certainly an adventure and a reminder to enjoy the simple things . Apparently some “googling” is in order as well :) xoxo

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. I could write something special about them every day…they warm my heart! They do like bugs and creepy crawlies…and although their mom and Papa do not like reptiles, they do! I get to take them to see snakes and slithery things! They are good for me! Debra

  2. Oh how I dread that “oh it’s mid January” as well. It’s just that the older we seem to get the time flies. I remember those years with my now 17 year old daughter and the “slug” “bug” and “worm” stage. It’s so amazing how children can just love them! It’s a wonder how I hate them! But why? It’s so silly. It’s not like they will “hurt” me so to speak. When I was younger I remember pulling back my sheets every single night to find one of those beetle bugs, hard, grayish…well it was because I was next to a window and you’d think after I screamed every night my parents would DO SOMETHING but no they did not. So, Maybe that is where I get the “creeeps.” I love the photo’s of the kids and the adventure you took. Never hold back, I love to stop by here and visit each day. ~Jackie

    • Thank you so much, Jackie! I am so aware of how differently I experience daily rhythm when I’m with preschoolers! Everything is special and delightful and I really feel the length of the day. I don’t feel like my life is speeding by! The reminder to everyone else is because I need the reminder the most :-) I agree with you about the bugs. I don’t mind them much myself, but I don’t actually remember being quite as fascinated. Children are so good for us, aren’t they? :-) Debra

  3. All right, Debra, and I don’t admit this readily, but I felt a twinge of envy reading this post. The Li’l Ones in my life have, for the most part, moved past the “Let’s take a walk” phase. To be sure, new activities have been introduced. Last Summer, for example, I taught my formerly walking buddies, the Boys that live above me, how to use the power lawn mower — with supervision. Things change, they’ve grown, new experiences await. But I miss that look that Sophie is wearing as she cradles the slug between her hands. Wonderful picture. Great post.

    • I do know what you mean, John! I am really struggling with the fact that Sophia will start Kindergarten later this year. Already I can see our long morning walks being reduced to weekends…and then there’s the beginning of soccer, T-ball…everything in its season, I know, and each season is special. But there’s nothing quite like this particular time in their lives when everything is wonderful. I’m so glad I could share my little girls. Thank you! Debra

  4. One of the best ways to enjoy life, I think, is to spend time with a child and do what they do. It helps me remember all the best things being childlike offers: lack of inhibitions, true curiosity, a generous pace, and startled wonder at the minutiae of life.

    Lovely post, Debra.

    • Thank you, Andra. You keep a lot of whimsy in your life, I can tell, so I know you get it better than most! You encourage me to laugh, which is indeed a child-like quality I’d like to keep across the lifespan. I’m so glad you enjoyed a slice of my day with the children. Debra

  5. Out of all the blogs I have read, this is my absolute favorite! I think it’s because I know how much you enjoy your precious granddaughters. The anticipation of their arrival has come and now you have so many opportunities to enjoy God’s creation with them. This one truly made me smile. Sophia and Karina are blessed to have a Nana that loves them so much!

    • Thank you so much, Ophelia. Yes, you know me well! I’d be there all the time if they lived closer…hmmmm…do you think that’s why the kids aren’t moving north? LOL! They’re getting big, aren’t they? Let’s have lunch so I can brag about them to you. :-) D

  6. Thanks. I needed this – and I’m certainly feelin’ groovy!

    This was delightful, Debra. Taking in the small things with youngsters, especially grandparent’s their youngsters. You are right. Time isn’t moving faster, we are. I have been consciously taking an hour or so each day to just be; read a book, rest a spell, enjoy nature.

    Your girls are so cute and so inquisitive and oh how I envy you being able to walk to breakfast, uphill, at Starbucks. Keep kicking down those cobblestones, Debra.

    • I love sharing pictures and stories of them, Penny. They do provide lots of “material” for me…I just try to parcel it out. My mom and I spend a lot of time talking about them and laugh that we’re glad we have one another for that purpose or we’d drive all of our friends away with too much “Sophia and Karina” talk. I am quite sure you know what I mean! So good to have at least one intentional hour. I think that’s a great habit to cultivate. Funny how when we’re young we don’t want naps, and now we do and sometimes can’t catch one! And I knew you’d appreciate the Paul Simon verse :-) Debra

  7. This is a wonderful shared moment. Isn’t it strange how time seems to go on for ever when you are a child? And later we all start to race the clock – more and more – and always end up losing. So you are indeed very right, let’s stop racing the clock and let’s give ourselves time to those wonderful small observations. One can actually make time go slower – theoretically – by moving with the speed of light, but even then it would be only relatively and wouldn’t give us more time.

    • Oh, I’m going to have to think about that one for a few minutes, Otto! That’s brilliant! I do think we can slow down and enjoy our time a lot more than we do. That’s our responsibility, and no one is going to do it for us…I’m so glad to have your comments and glad you returned safely from your wonderful holiday adventure. I see you are indeed getting caught up :-) Debra

    • Thank you, Kate. I also find it so fun (and funny) to see how easily curiosity and interests can be satisfied as the children are learning to just “look it up” on-line–whatever the interest. I think back to how I used to sit and read encyclopedia’s as a child, attempting to learn more about the world. Of course, that certainly dates me, doesn’t it? LOL! Debra

  8. Dear Debra,
    This was a delightfully tender posting. Thank you.

    I wonder if you know the series of books about Sophie, a quite independent, determined, and curious little girl in England. The books are by Dick King-Smith, who wrote “Babe: The Gallant Pig.” Your posting today reminded me of first book in the series of six: “Sophie’s Snail.”

    I suspect you would like these books and so would Sophia and Karina. The remaining titles are as follows: “Sophie Hits Six,” “Sophie’s Tom” (a cat), “Sophie Is Seven,” “Sophie in the Saddle,” and “Sophie’s Lucky” (a pony). There is available one book that contains all six stories. I bought it as well as an individual paperback of each one.

    Peace.

    • Dee, I am really grateful for the book suggestions. I am aware of the author only from a few titles that I must recall from somewhere! But I do not know the Sophie books and I plant to immediately add them to my collection! I’m not sure Sophia is quite ready for chapter books, but that time is coming quickly. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy them! Thank you so very much for the introduction ;-) Debra

  9. Hello Debra and thank you for commenting on my blog. I’m so pleased to have found you and really love this post. We can learn so much from children if we’re willing to admit they can teach us. The photo of Karina holding the slug so tenderly and with so much interest shames this person who can only pick up a slug when wearing gardening gloves and whose instinct is to get rid of it where it can’t eat my plants!

  10. What a lovely post to read this morning.. I love that children slow us down and help us notice the small details. I remember taking my 2 year old niece for a walk to the park. I didn’t know that was too far for such small legs. We went about three houses down, checking every little nook and cranny on the sidewalk! I love your daughters’ expressions when walking backwards:)

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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