Tuesday, June 21, 2011


1 c : leisure (time for reading)
4 d : the present time

Yesterday morning as I lay in the bathtub, I prayed for enough time in the day.  Sound strange?  Maybe it is, but I knew what needed to get done and that the allotted hours just might not be enough.  Here's a quick sketch of yesterday morning:

8:00 - everyone awake and in some stage of eating breakfast
9:00 - depart for grocery store (K joined me)
9:35 - return from grocery store, unpack groceries
9:45 - depart for K's swim lesson
10:00 - swim lesson (B joined me)
10:20 - B's school friend shows up at the pool, B begs to stay
10:30 - kind friend agrees to let B and K stay at the pool with her
11:00 - return home
11:40 - depart to take A to ballet
12:30 - collect B & K from the pool
12:45 - lunch
1:10 - depart to pick A up from ballet
1:50 - pause for breath before beginning laundry and dinner

Yesterday was our first day of thrice weekly ballet classes for A.  This seemed like a good idea several weeks ago when I needed a break of a few weeks between ballet sessions.  Yet now that we have activities scheduled for four weekdays during the summer, I'm wondering whether there will be enough time to have fun with my girls, enjoy lazy time together, just live life the way I want to live it.  My response was to schedule plenty of fun into our week.  What remains to be seen is whether we can all enjoy our summer if I exhaust myself in the process.

In the midst of this transition, I'm in the middle of the best parenting book I've ever read.  In the section on child-led spirituality, there is this passage:

Children's sense of time is different from adults'.  It is elongated because they haven't yet suffered from the accumulation of many experiences to detract from the present.  They take all the time they need to address what life puts in front of them, in the right now.

This is how I want to experience time.  By taking what's right in front of me and not getting too far ahead of myself.  This doesn't mean I throw my plans out the window.  I need to plan so that we don't waste the free moments we have.  But I need to hold those plans loosely, not clench my hands around them.  Today we went to the state capitol, a field trip K has been begging to go on for weeks.  When I signed up for the field trip, I clicked a couple of extra boxes for activities in the state museum.  But when yesterday arrived, I didn't think an extra hour after touring the capitol was a good idea.  So I canceled that part of the field trip.  Instead, we hung out at the library, doing a much needed restocking of our book supply.

After the library, instead of the pool or Chick-fil-A or anything else, we came home and read, read, read.  This is something else The Art of Family has affirmed.  That reading teaches us spiritual lessons that can only be learned through the art of reading.  The art of quietly spending time alone, waiting for the action to unfold and imagining other worlds, teaches us to stay in the moment on the page and wait.

Yet as much as I love reading, I want time for other things, too.  Which is why after reading, we watched a movie together.  This is the kind of time I want - time to read, time to hang out together, time to simply be a family.  So I'll keep praying for more time - and to be fully present in the time I have.

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