Rush hour is a misnomer. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel like it’s rush 24 hours. I’m always rushing to get my child dressed, lunch packed, out the door, buckled into the car seat (yes, she has had to remind me sometimes to remember to actually buckle), drop off at daycare, and then maybe make it to the first meeting of the day on time. After the school day is done, the rush hours continue. I always feel like I am watching the minutes tick by as I try to navigate my commute, my own personal game of Mario Kart, as I try to strategically maneuver around giant trucks and hybrid cars. It never fails…I am either pulling into the daycare provider’s driveway exactly at 5:30 or six minutes late. And then there is more rushing. Get shoes and coats on, gather toys and stickered, glittered construction paper creations, and scoot out the door, back in the car, heading home. Once we are home, it’s time to feed the dogs, start dinner (which some nights means find a flyer from a place that delivers), and try not to think about the work that should get done tonight.
And then there is that moment when I finally just sit down on the floor next to my daughter and all in one instant I am exhausted and at the same time I pause and look at this child staring back at me. What did I miss in all of my rushing today? Did she do something new with her toys this morning that I completely missed when I was scrambling to get us out the door? Did she use a new word or phrase that I didn’t hear because I was telling her to go play in the other room while I was trying to pull together dinner at a semi-reasonable time? And how about everything that she was doing at daycare while I was at school focused on 500 other kids? What did I miss? When I start to think about it, I often get overwhelmed with the thought of just how much I have missed.
Then I realize that I am going to miss lots of things in her life. We have so many days of rushing from one place to the next that will still continue to happen. As I said earlier, our life is often rush 24 hours. But I do have the opportunity to stop and not miss certain moments. We spend our days trying to create special moments for all of the students in our schools. I need to also remember to stop and create those special moments for my own child.
Sorry, we can’t add any more time to the day. We get 24 hours, no more, no less. But we do get to have some control over those hours. We don’t have to always be rushing. (Although some days it feels like there’s no other choice.) We can slow down. We can hit the pause button and take a minute to be in the moment. My challenge to myself and to all of you out there reading this…shift your thinking. Don’t think about what you missed after all of the rushing around. Think about creating those moments that you will be present for and that your kids (and you!) will never forget.
Hit the pause button today. You won’t regret it!