My Hands Free inner voice has become very convincing. It doesn’t take much to get me to stop mid laundry folding or dishwasher unloading to sit down with my youngest daughter before she goes to preschool.
Before I became Hands Free, my ultra-efficient self would be able to check several items off the to-do list before 9 a.m. Now precious one-on-one time with my four-year-old daughter gets the #1 spot on the priority list.
Just sitting down on the floor listening to her talk to her Polly Pockets or verbalize as she colors, I can’t imagine how I could have allowed myself to miss this pure delightful, simple and sweet entertainment that is my child.
This day was no different. She played with her Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head dolls. She had an interesting conversation going on between the two figures about their accessories. Apparently, there were not enough eyeglasses to go around and my daughter had to referee this issue between the two oddly shaped, yet endearing characters.
Then she suddenly became quiet and looked quite thoughtful.
That is when I asked her a question; for this Hands Free journey has taught me there is power in questions. I have learned that whether it is with my 71-year-old father, the neighbor I barely know, or the cashier with the sad eyes, I should never waste an opportunity to ask a question.
Four-year-olds like questions, too. So I asked my daughter one, not knowing her response would dramatically alter the way I thought about the concept of time from that moment on.
“If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?” I asked delightfully anticipating what my bright four-year-old would dream of going.
I expected something far off, fun or exciting that involved her grandparents, princesses, cotton candy or Toy Story characters. But what she said left me speechless and a bit enamored with her.
“Playing Mr. Potato Head games with you,” she replied without a moment’s hesitation and a smile bigger than Mr. Potato Head’s himself.
Really? That’s it? Anywhere in the world, and she chose what she is doing right here, right now with me?
If that is not a lesson for the Hands Free Mama in Training, I don’t know what is.
I suddenly heard a recording of my own voice saying these unsettling lines:
“Once I get through this month, things will slow down.”
“I can’t wait for school to start up again.”
“I wish the warmer weather would finally get here.”
“When is it going to be Friday? This week is killing me.”
“I can’t wait for her to be able to ride in the booster seat.”
“I look forward to the day she stops sucking her thumb.”
“If I can just get through today…”
To put it bluntly, I wish time away.
How easily I forget that there is no guarantee that tomorrow will even come. Or that tomorrow will be as wonderful as it is today.
Today, I have my health, my happiness, and my security. There will come a day that I won’t. Why ask for that heartbreaking day to be here any sooner?
Thanks to my daughter and Mr. Potato Head, I now find myself frequently asking, “Where would you be if you could be anywhere?” And without giving it a second thought, I chose what I am doing at that very moment…and then I make the most of it.
Do you ever find yourself wishing time would speed up to what you perceive as better or easier times in life? Instead try to discover the gifts that can be found in the mundane routines of life. You might find instead of wishing time away that you pray for time to stand still.
The I Have Today by Hands Free Mama, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.