What Slowing Down Teaches You That Rushing Never Will

My daughter Eden is slow. I know that sounds negative. It feels almost like a betrayal to write it. Our world rarely welcomes slowness. But Eden, who is nine years old and has Down syndrome, remains unaware of the need to rush. Ever. This morning she walked out of the house with mismatched mittens, me pushing her from behind and her dad ushering her forward, one bus driver and forty kids waiting for her to cross the street. With hat askew and her backpack slipping off her shoulder, she stopped in the driveway, took a deep breath, and said, "Isn't it beautiful out today? It's really not too bad!"

Charming now. Infuriating then.

I do love the idea of slow food, slow reading, slow and thoughtful living. But not on a Monday morning. Because on Monday, or any school day, I don't want my children to live slowly. I want them to get up, get dressed, and catch the bus so I don't need to wait in the jumble of cars outside their school and then stand in the Parent Line of Shame to receive tardy slips.

One morning a few weeks ago we were close to being on time for the bus without even having to wave for the driver to wait. Then Eden noticed a piece of paper on the ground and decided she should throw it away. Just seconds from stepping out the door, she turned toward the wastebasket while talking to the piece of trash in her hand.

"We'll just go over here, okay? I'm going to put you in here before I go to school."

Then she showed her imaginary friends how to throw something away. In great detail. I felt my body tense as I waited to see her hand let go of that paper. I called to her, but her imaginary friends spoke more loudly. And I was torn, as always, between wanting to cherish who Eden is and wanting to help her work within daily realities.

[Read the rest of the post at Thin Places.]