I’m the one standing there frustrated. I’m trying to herd my little crew and move them along to get to the rainbow tunnel. Let’s go. Come on, boys. Why am I in such a rush? Where do we have to be? By the time we get there, we’ll need to leave for lunch and nap time, then they’ll be mad they have to go so soon, I’ll have crying and screaming kids, I’ll be picking them up from the ground…
I finally clued in the other day and realized something about myself. I get so focused on an end result or goal, that I just push myself to get there. In doing this, I’m not always being present and enjoying myself. The best part of this rainbow tunnel adventure is our experience getting there. It’s about being curious, being playful, and just s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n. My husband is so much better at that than I am. I’m all about the end goal. But I’m learning.
I’m starting to pay more attention to the different kinds of leaves growing along the path. There are so many different shapes and textures; they are actually really pretty. I’m noticing how beautiful the wildflowers are. I’ve been pointing them out to the kids. We smell them. We talk about them. We pick them and hold onto them like precious treasure.
The path along the way is beautiful. There’s a wall of stacked rocks. It has little ledges that are perfect for trucks and cars to drive on. There’s a steep hill with tall trees and a little stream that runs along the path. You can hear the water quietly moving over the rocks. It’s hidden behind trees and brush, and can only be seen if you lean up against the wooden fence. Different wildflowers and plants frame both sides of the walkway. There’s even a bridge you can cross and see the water flow beneath your feet.
Lately I have been watching Tate. He reminds me of me and I worry. He’s so wrapped up in what he’s doing. He’s pushing his monster truck along and trying to get to where he wants to go. He seems totally oblivious to everything that’s around him. I could have brought him anywhere and I don’t think he’d notice. And then there’s Thatcher. He’s the total opposite.
He takes it all in. He dawdles along. He hears the water rushing and leans against the fence to take a peek. He tries to wander off the path to explore (little bum). He gathers leaves and finds sticks. He spots little burrs and sticks them to his shirt. How fun is that!? He’s 18 months old and is able to appreciate his surroundings better than I can.
Now I join Thatcher at the fence. Tate does too. The other day it was Tate who had us stop to look at a leaf that was turning red. We are all starting to see the rainbow tunnel as a place where we might end up, with lots of fun detours along the way.
I’m so thankful for my kids and what they are teaching me about life. Slow down, mama. Enjoy yourself.