“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
I would still be getting sick from sheer exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
I would still be making my way through typed to-do lists and neglecting the most important tasks of life—like living and loving.
I would have missed the mama bird who tucked her nest in the corner of my porch.
I would have been in at least one fender bender (or worse) due my dangerous rushing and multitasking ways.
I would have given up on tangerines because they take too long to peel.
I would have missed a thousand conversations that just come when one sits still and waits for words to come.
But I didn’t miss any of them.
Thanks to her.
Embracing my daughter’s Enjoy-the-Journey approach to life didn’t just alter my actions and my behavior, it changed my perspective, transformed my thought-processes, and loosened the tightly wound fiber of my inner being.
Although I am a work in progress, the change in me has been quite remarkable. But there is something even more remarkable about this story. And it became apparent to me when a blog reader asked for an update. She wrote:
“I see it’s been several years since you wrote, “The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’”. Did your daughter’s slow pace and ultra observant nature cause trouble in school? What is she like now? May I have an update? I have a Noticer and knowing how things turned out for your daughter would mean a great deal to me.”
As I began typing my response, unexpected tears fell on my keyboard. With clarity, I realized my transformation was secondary to an even bigger story—a story that could quite possibly bring solace and hope to those wondering if they too could let a loved one just be.
This is our story …
My Noticer received a low mark on her report card in kindergarten for being distracted in large groups. It was also reported that she often became preoccupied by what her desk neighbors were doing or feeling. It was also common for her to be last to turn in work, her teacher noted.
The person who would have been first to nip these issues in the bud, correct this behavior with a stern talk, or worry about such disappointing marks was the first person to be this child’s advocate. Although I was just beginning to free myself from my Life of Overwhelm, I was certain of one thing: The world needed more Noticers, and it would be my blessing to raise one.
For the first time in my life I decided that maybe the way the world wanted my child to be was not the way she should be.
Instead of seeing my child’s pace and ultra observant nature as a negative, I saw it as a positive. Because if my child was relishing the sunshine as she jogged with her P.E. class, that was good. Because if she took time to accurately complete her work, that was good. Because if she ate her lunch slowly and enjoyed every bite of that hummus wrap, that was good.
The naysayers’ voices on the Internet were loud. They said children who stop and smell the roses become a waste of everyone’s time. They said children who are permitted to set the pace become lazy and spoiled. They said children like my daughter will never hold down a job. They could be right, I decided. But the difference between her joy and my joy could not be denied. As a productivity-driven rusher, I spent much of my time frowning, controlling, stressing, and missing out. As a thoughtful traveler, my daughter spent most of her time smiling, delighting, connecting, and thriving. There was something therapeutic about the way she lived, and I desperately needed it. I decided to go against the mainstream and let my child be.
Today my daughter is finishing her second grade year. She is a voracious reader and loves helping children who struggle. She is in the Mastery Club—a program designed by her teacher for students who complete their classwork before others and enjoy self-guided learning projects. My child continues to sing and strum her beloved instrument and recently delighted the crowd with a rendition of “Peace” by O.A.R. at her recital. At swim team conditioning, she can be found in the middle of the pack with a big smile on her face. She picks out her outfits each morning, does her ponytail, and packs her school bag. She’s never missed the bus.
But here’s the news worth celebrating …
My daughter takes time to cuddle, hold doors open for strangers, and play with the cat. She calls her grandparents and finds it perfectly normal to have conversations that last for thirty minutes. When she signs birthday cards, she fills every square inch with vibrant colors and loving words. She stretches before she works out. She says prayers in great detail, never leaving anyone out. She remembers people’s names, asks questions, and listens intently. She freestyles on the guitar like Ed Sheeran and writes silly poetry like Shel Silverstein. She takes photos of me that capture beauty my critical eyes fail to see.
Although her report cards no longer say, “distracted dawdler,” she remains a Noticer through and through. In other words, my child has not changed in the way that matters most.
On Mother’s Day the two of us took a long walk. As I struggled to fall in line with her leisurely pace, I reminded myself who I was with. I reminded myself it was time to listen and learn from the greatest Life Coach I’ve ever known.
About midway through our walk, my daughter said, “When my team runs laps after swim practice, my favorite part comes right after the ‘No Parking’ sign. There’s a crack in the concrete where plants grow. Can you believe that? Plants growing out of concrete! That is my favorite part of the run.”
And as I do multiple times a day, I closed my tearful eyes and thanked God for this child who reminds me to look for the blessings in unexpected places.
I can’t help but consider what life would be like if I’d chosen to tell my child that slow was bad. Where would we be? The world would have two less Livers of Life. Our hearts would be less fulfilled. I would not be the author I am today. My life could have very well been cut short. Instead, I am blessed to experience the joys of life that used to elude me. But thanks to my daughter, I don’t miss them anymore.
So to the Noticers of the world and those who are blessed to raise them, I say this:
Thank you for being. You are an anomaly in this fast paced world. And we need you. We desperately need you …
To notice the birds and the bruises beneath the skin …
To notice the change of season and the one being left out …
To notice his name and remember to say it with love …
To notice the ripples on the water and the color of sky after sunset …
To notice the barista who could use a kind word.
Thank you, Noticers, big and small,
You are the thriving blossoms in a concrete world
Reminding us to stop and acknowledge our beating hearts every chance we can.
Family therapist and renowned author Susan Stiffelman believes children can be our greatest teachers. This is precisely what I’ve experienced on my Hands Free journey, but no one has ever explained the how and the why quite the way Susan does in Parenting with Presence. I found myself devouring every powerful insight she offered and immediately began using her suggested strategies to bring more harmony and whole-hearted engagement into every day life. Using Susan’s thought-provoking questions, relatable examples, and practical tools, I felt liberated from mistakes of the past and closer to the parent and person I aim to be.
In addition to opening us to more of the love, learning, and joy that children can bring into our lives, Parenting with Presence helps parents and kids:
- Manage stress
- Discover their passions
- Have more fun
- Be more present
- Improve communication
- Develop closer connection
- Silence the critical inner voice
- Treat oneself and each other with love & compassion
“If you step back and see everything in your life—including child-rearing—as opportunities to learn more about yourself and grow as a person then hardly anyone is as valuable a teacher as your child. Our love for our kids can motivate us to stretch and transform in ways nothing else might.” –Susan Stiffelman
Click here to learn more or order this truly transformative book. I strongly believe it is one of the most worthwhile gifts you can give your family and yourself.
* By popular demand, there are now I CHOOSE LOVE reminder bands in addition to the I CHOOSE LOVE leather bracelets. Thanks to all who requested them! Click here to access the HANDS FREE SHOP.
Your noticer reminds me of My Son the Volcano. 🙂 https://teachfromtheheart.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/my-son-the-volcano/
Rachel Stafford says
Jen – Thank you for sharing your extraordinary son with us, as well as your worries, concerns, questions, and fears. But there is joy there, too–so much joy coming through your beautifully written words. You see him. You celebrate him. You build him up. I am just as in awe of you as I am of your son. You inspire me. Thank you for sharing this link to your life.
Barbara Malaney says
Your daughter sounds like a lovely young lady…you are truly blessed.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Barbara. She blesses me in ways I cannot even begin to describe. She is exactly what I needed.
Another beautiful post:) Love the picture of you with the flowers! Very pretty. Thank you for opening the doors for all of us to be more like your “noticer”. I am 32 and I am inspired by your 2nd grader:) We all need to take her lead and enjoy life. You and your amazing daughters are changing the world. Thank you for sharing!
Another wonderful reminder of what truly matters in life, living it.
Our family is about to embark on yet the newest part of our “being present” lifestyle as we set out to begin home schooling with our four and five year old in the fall and welcome a new baby next month.
I have been a long time reader and thank you again for opening my eyes to such a dramatic and wonderful experience that I may have otherwise missed out on because I was too busy planning, organizing and perfecting.
As you mentioned as well, we are always a work in progress but the work is well worth the reward many times over.
Thank you for the reminder that our children can be great teachers. I needed this yesterday when I wanted to get things done, and my daughter wanted me to play with her. The next time I want to feel honored that she wanted me.
I, too, raised a Noticer who is now 27 and doing very well! She took the plunge 18 months ago to leave her Kentucky home to live in NYC and loves it. Thankful for God’s goodness in giving her to us! I think our daughters would be great friends…even with the age gap 🙂
Wynn Anne says
Oh, how I wish I’d read this fifteen years ago! The good news, is that, despite the world’s pressure to be other than she was, our daughter remains the exquisitely beautiful Noticer that your daughter is. One of my favourite memories was of the school secretary saying, “Oh! You’re K’s parents? She is so wonderful!” In a school full of children, my own daughter stood out as someone caring and kind. Noticeable.
She is a flower in the crack in the sidewalk of my life.
Jenny Johnston says
You are a beautiful person. Your girls are so blessed to have you as their mom.
I count you as one of the blessings in my life, also.
We do “desperately need” them, don’t we? One of my twin ten-year-old boys is a noticer, and, well… so is his dad. His heart breaks so deeply sometimes at the pain and sadness he sees in others, but, that same heart soars and swells as he sees the good and love in all around him. It is hard to watch at times and I perhaps protect him too much from the ugly that is in this world but I wouldn’t have him any other way. God’s peace to you, as always, Rachel. Your voice absolutely sings through and above the din that is this modern life. Thank you.
Maren Breitwieser says
God gives us two opportunities to slow down-when we have children & when we’re old-I’m grateful I was able to keep this perspective a # of times when my children were little!
As a grown-up Noticer, who sometimes feels out of place in this fast-paced adult world, but wouldn’t trade her Noticer personality for anything, I can’t tell you how happy this post, and your writing, makes me on so many levels. Thank you for letting your daughter grow up as herself, just as my mom let me grow up as myself.
another grown up noticer here…. briefly lived as a control freak… tears roll down my face. Beautiful writing which open-heartedly challenges us to get real with ‘what is’ and not just freak out about what the other humans say ‘should be’. Thank you lovely Rachel and your lovely Noticer.
Laurie Stone says
Living an unhurried life is a blessing and the opposite of what most of us are taught. We’re always shown people hurrying, striving, producing… to what end? Its a great lesson to give your child the gift of time. You’ll both be happier for it.
Shonnie Lavender says
Thank you for honoring your daughter’s authentic self and sharing your inspiring story with the rest of us. For me, your journey demonstrates the value/importance of having a clear inner vision and staying connected to our authentic self. Our culture — and really anything in the outer world — has no authority over us, yet we often yield to its blaring voice because it is so audacious, relentless, and seemingly-knowledgeable. Without conscious effort and heightened awareness it can be difficult for parents to support their children’s authenticity, so thank you for being one of the voices that’s helping to wake moms and dads up — or keep us awake as we navigate modern life for ourselves and with our families.
Kim White says
I have a soon to be 7 year old daughter who is a notified at a snails pace. She is leaving the first grade and now her teachers call her slowness (Madison’s speed). I don’t mind what they call it I am just thankful that they acknowledged it is just herself. Her teacher just told me last week that I should be proud of her for taking her time and not rushing to a decision. She said she thought she was just being slow until she watched her and seen that she is thinking about things not just sitting there. I have struggled with her being slow since I am always in a hurry and late but I read an article of your somewhere and got signed up for regular emails and my life has changed. I am a 48 year old mother with a soon to be 7 year old daughter. Thanks for sharing your life and all the while changing and improving someone else’s.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank YOU, Kim. You have a very special little girl and I am thankful she has you as her mother. You have blessed me by telling me that my writings have helped you. This is truly the greatest gift I could receive. Thank you for being here. Please give Madison a hug and tell her Miss Rachel said she is a BLESSING to this world!!!
Posts like this break my heart.
I, too, have a noticer who is just finishing up 2nd grade. She gets good grades and was recently placed in the gifted program – but only after I challenged the school to see her love of learning was part of her distraction. But of course, they had to point out how she was always the last to turn something in, sometimes forgetting it altogether as she became engrossed in taking in life.
What breaks my heart is that as a single mom who has no choice to work full-time, our life is largely about rushing. My day is scheduled to the second most days – literally. Like dominoes, one mishap can topple much of the day. Summers are no different to her – she still has to get up early, get ready and out the door. She’s not a morning person (like her mom) and if I gave her the time she needed, she would have to get up before sunrise, and I am not convinced that would even be enough time.
We have, at best, three hours every weeknight to accomplish homework, dinner, shower, etc. I try to hard to give her time to just BE every day, and many days, I fail. Many days succeeding means rushing through the “have-tos”, which is miserable for her.
How I long for a life that allows her to be who she really is!
I’m a single parent too and your story reads like my own. I take A Deep Breath, choose love (unqualified positive regard), and let that peace be the space that I look at my boy rather than hustle him. He thanks me for it, yet i feel i fail to make space for him to be fully creative….. but that stress is my own. it’s never easy being the only one. you are not alone!!!! 🙂
I love, love this article and so glad you were asked and answered this question! My little noticer definitely doesn’t please her dance teacher, as she doesn’t focus very long as often as her teacher would like, but her preschool teacher appreciates the value she provides – she knows all the kid’s names, the parent’s cars, sees when someone is in need of help, always helps out the teacher, etc. And she does all of this because she notices others around her – whether they’re in distress or in joy! It is hard to ‘block out’ those who tell you she should focus more (and sometimes, that’s me!), but her noticing is who she is and that’s a blessing even without the fact that she usually blesses others too! I’m so glad to hear a few practical stories about noticers and how they may be perceived in the world! Thanks so much for sharing as I (as always) wipe a tear from my eye!
This post was spot-on for me today. Our oldest is definitely a Noticer too. She is slow-paced with things. She’s the kindest person I know. She’s also the slowest eater I know. lol We too go on walks and she spots things I rush past. She notices the butterfly on the bush or the tiny flower (ie: weed) growing across the park. It’s a blessing – she’s a blessing – and a great reminder of how much there is to notice and love and enjoy in this world.
shirley mc nally says
has said so much of what I believe and pray ever parent could absorband know before their fist child is given to them!!!
you must be thanked for putting the dream into such wonderful words. Yhanks from shirley
What a beautiful post, Rachel. You are blessed, indeed.
As the mother of a son who has never fit the mold, my heart is bursting after reading your response. My son has been known to find interest in the pattern of the carpet, instead of completing his morning tasks to get to school on time. I’ve heard the terms “ADD” and “impulsive behavior” more than I can count. Joseph is just Joseph. He fits no molds except his own. I am taking a deep breath and letting my son be my son, my noticer and one of my biggest blessings.
vanessa shipman says
I friend sent his article to me because she just saw me perform a poem I had written about children slowing me down to, literally smell the flowers. I am now on a train, in the early morning sunshine with tears in my eyes because every now and then I need someone to support me, to tell me that I’m going I the right direction and that I need to do it more. You just did that. Thank you for that. Have a truly beautiful day.
Love and sunshine
Rachel Stafford says
I am so touched, Vanessa. Good job, Mama. Good job.
Steve & Adia says
Your stories are truly a constant inspiration to me as both a parent and a person Rachel. I too was a very free-spirited and creative and intelligent child growing up. However, back in the 80s it felt as if conformity was always militantly chosen over allowing kids like myself to flourish as we wanted. I see the same intelligent and imaginative and stop-and-smell-the-roses persona in Adia, and I’ve often caught myself encouraging her to “hurry up and conform” on occasion. Tonight as I snuggled with my little free spirit when I tucked her into bed like she asks me to every night, I fell asleep like I always do (so much so that when I’m talking with people now and tell them I have to put her to bed, they happily joke and say “Talk to you tomorrow Steve”). Laying here awake at 4:30 in the morning, your words are once again wonderful and always seem to come just when I need them, and I’m reminded that I need to continue allowing her to blossom on her own and be the person she wants to be. Thank you so much for sharing <3.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you for your faithful companionship on this journey, friend. It brings me great joy when you share your own “Hands Free” stories so that I get to experience these joyful moments & revelations too. Hugs to Adia! I hope I will see you both again at my HANDS FREE LIFE book signing in Canada in Sept! http://www.handsfreemama.com/events/
It has been a bit of a long time I actually found three new posts that I hadn’t read. Your words are always healing and comes at exactly the right time. Recently I have been feeling very bitter and asking why people cannot just let someone’s child be. My daughter turned nine on 7th and my sister commented that she should now grow up and grow up completely. I asked her how grown up should a nine year old be and it really hurt me. She doesn’t expect my daughter to play or to talk like a child. She expects her to perform tasks a grown up should be doing. I made a vow to myself; to bring up my daughter and son the way I feel right and not to let anyone interfere with their lives. A neighbour recently asked me why I go to pick my daughter from the bus stop instead of letting her walk home alone and I told her I will do it even when she is in eighth grade. My daughter has a big heart full of love for everyone. She is full of empathy and she loves babies in a way I do not understand. She will stop to help anyone and she is very generous. But why can’t people just leave others to live the way they want? I will never succumb to anyone’s pressure on how to bring up my children. I will let them be, let them each develop their own personalities and only guide them where they may go wrong. Thank you Rachel, you give me strength to keep moving. Write Rachel write, we need this fuel that is your words.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Winnie. I so agree with you on letting others live as they wish and not question them. Each parent, if in tune with their child, knows what is best for him or her. You clearly do and that brings me great joy.
Thank you for your articles, especially this particular one, and also thanks to all the commenters. We have a Noticer also! I had not had a word to describe him, and I like this term much better than the descriptive words so many have offered. We have fought hard to avoid labels, but those were labels that were someone else’s description. His kindergarten year was difficult; 3 weeks into the school year, the teacher told us we needed to take him out, that he was never going to succeed, etc. Thankfully the meeting with principal and counselor asked the teacher a question that her response showed was not thoughtful. I remember clearly her response of negativity. And my words of “have you ever considered that the opposite might be true?” I volunteered in his classroom and after a few months, she admitted she saw a totally different child. We changed school districts, and his first grade teacher has been an amazing gift! She saw his Noticer self, accepted and loved him. Thank you for the “Label” and the encouragement for us to celebrate his unique self.
I’m not quite sure my son is a Noticer, but he sure is creative. As I started reading your post (not hands free), he asked to take the cushions off the couch to build, and I said no, because he never puts them back. I got halfway through your post when I told him to go ahead and do it. Your post reminded me of what’s truly important. Thank you.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Jen. I am a work in progress and need reminders as much as anyone else. I am so glad my post served as inspiration to you. Your story, in turn, has been a reminder to me. Thank you for walking beside me.
Loved this post, as I love all of your posts. The whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t help thinking that I wish my oldest child was a Noticer. He is sometimes, like when we’re headed out the door to Somewhere. But mostly he seems to me to be a Rusher. He rushes through his breakfast / lunch / dinner so he can move on to play, he rushes through his homework, opening his writing journal to any old page and hastily scribbling down words that are illegible. He rushes through class work and tests, just to get them out of the way. It is my supreme challenge to accept THIS way of being. And it’s hard, and I know many parents feel the same way.
My answer hasn’t been 100% acceptance of who he is, but finding ways to gently coach him to slow down and take care in his work. To know that whatever he’s rushing to will be there when he’s finished. Or it won’t. And he can be ok with that.
And sometimes I lose my patience. Sometimes, more than I’d like to admit, I chastise. Like you, I’m a work in progress.
Thank you for writing it down, for sharing, for being a witness, even though our children are very different. I learn from you just the same.
Rachel Stafford says
Hi Kristi – I don’t know if you know, but I have a Rusher too. My oldest child is just like the “before” version of me! 🙂 And for awhile I wished I had not modeled that behavior to her for 6 years of her life and felt quite guilty about it. Recently, I was able to see her approach to life in a positive light, just as I see my Noticer’s approach to life. Perhaps this will help you too. I am so glad you are here sharing this journey with me. http://www.handsfreemama.com/2014/09/23/to-love-a-child-by-their-book/
I am curious if you experienced resentment as part of your distracted lifestyle? I know I need to live more in the present. I feel guilty all the time that I am not. But in the moment of being a mother, wife, and everything else, I find myself feeling anger and resentment. I’m annoyed with feeling like a broken record as I still need to instruct my 14 year old to do things like wash his face everyday, I’m frustrated with feeling like I have to manage everyone’s everything, and I feel like I can’t let go of the control necessary to keep everything running. And I’m resentful of myself that I feel those ways. I know the resentment is eating away at my inner core, but I just don’t know how to redirect that feeling. Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with me that I feel such resentment when I truly have a blessed life. That’s when the guilt kicks in, and then I’m resentful that I feel guilty and the cycle continues! Any insight would be appreciated.
Your words are such a powerful reminder to cast aside those loud external voices and focus on seeing our children for their truest selves. It’s so easy to let fear and shoulds and supposed-to’s and busy-ness shape what we value and look past their gifts. This is inspiration to keep focusing on those very special gifts in my girls. Thank you as always for your powerful post…
Tamara Ruth says
Thank you Rachel for your words. It almost made me cry, but I am at work, cannot do that. My son is also a little bit like that, and we rush him so much sometimes I pity that. I am changing though, I am, and my husband and I have made a good job till now, but is me the one that is changing more. My son is like my mirror. If I am nervous, so is he, if I am in a bad mood, so is he. It is incredible that he can change when I am better. He is almost 5, and I am slowing down, like you did. It is difficult because I HAVE TO WORK, and despite I only work for 6 hours, he is in school for 7 or 8 hours a day, and then we go home and I have to do chores. What time is it left for him? but despite all the house might be in a great great mess, I play with him, at least one play a day, at least one dance a day, at least one book or more a day. I have made him a special place. An hula hula tent to read. He is starting in reading and he likes it a lot. Your page is so important to me. Do not stop please. It has helped me a lot. Thanks to G`d that is my support, and thanks to G´s emisiaries like you I am changing and I am very happy for that. I sure receive a lot of bad comments of relatives and people that do not agree with this kind of life. Because sometimes I get late to work (a lot of times), because my house is a mess, because I do take time for my son! my precious son, my lovely son. I AM HAPPY WITH MY CHANGE, I WOULD NOT DO IT DIFFERENT, I AM IN PEACE WITH ME.
Amy @ Elephant Eats says
As hard as it will be for me to raise a Noticer (I have a personality much like yourself), I really hope that I get the privilege to do so. What a wonderful person your daughter has turned into. How lucky you are to be her mama!
Jennifer Wolfe says
Loved this – parenting is all about teaching our kids to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Unless they teach us first.
Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. When I began following your blog, I (thought I was) was happily married. Much has changed since then (betrayal, loss of a 22 year friendship, divorce and the new chapter of what it is to coparent) and I can not begin to tell you how your words, your beacon of light, has helped steer my course. I believe you are one of God’s present day Angels; in the flesh. Many thanks to you, your daughters and your spouse for allowing the time (understanding) to help others 🙂
If you hadn’t caught on to her gift and realized it was a gift, she would have turned out something like me. I was the Noticer (still am) in my family, and this gift was treated more as something my family had to endure/ignore, and then by my type A ex husband as something to squash. It’s been almost three months since the divorce was finalized, and while still in pain, I am feeling that Noticer person coming back to me. I never really lost her, but she turned into a bundle of nerves, anxiety stricken, and exceedingly depressed. I have no doubt that these things caused the breast cancer I was diagnosed with three weeks ago. I am 33. This is the pain you saved your daughter from, and I thank you , Rachel, from the bottom of my heart for loving that girl for exactly who she is, for recognizing the gifts she brings to the world, and for bringing understanding about people like her and me to the rest of the world.
Deborah Chalk says
Thanks for this beautiful update on what happens when you let your child experience the world at their pace and notice the detail and beauty of their life. I am also the mother of a noticer. We dodge worms on hopscotch street tiles on the way to school. I am struck that perhaps we are all born as noticers and unlearn it in order to keep up with the general pace of things. Then this drives all the need for books about presence and mindfulness. They are to help adults who are looking to get back there essential nature as a noticer.
John S Green says
Your daughter has it all together. To be a Noticer is to be in the moment. To be in the moment is to be. Taking the time to be is the key to life!
Your words never fail in reducing me to tears. Thank you again for your emotional & powerful words which make a huge difference to me.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Anna. This means so much to me.
Rachel, I can’t read enough of your words, I quite simply think you and your approach to life are amazing. With every chapter of your book and every blog post, you improve the way I live my life. Thank you. I can’t wait for your new book! Sarah
So touching reminds me so much of myself actually cried reading this as its a mirror of how I am I’ve purchased your book and really look forward to my own transformation from the yeller to a more loving compassionate mother
I want to be a Noticer, too!
Your daughter is so lovely and thoughtful!
I have had this tab open on my browser since you posted it (so I could read it later). It’s taken me almost a year to read it. I wasn’t looking forward to school holidays but now it’s here, I’ve decided it’s time to slow down so now I get to finally read it and it is such a reminder to SLOW DOWN! Oh how I wish I could slow down as I see myself as one of those people – one to look at everything with detail – so it drives me NUTS to keep up such a pace just to keep the bills paid. Well, these holidays, I’m not going to do as many “paid” activities so that I don’t have to take on as much paid work. So then I can stop and smell the roses and spend quality time with my four year old. I recall those beautiful times walking to the park and stopping at a thousand things along the way – to watch the ants building a home, flowers popping up everywhere. I realised it’s the journey, not the destination and if we didn’t make it to the park, it wouldn’t matter. Thank you for writing your beautiful words. And I do hope you’re doing ok. The last time I got to read anything was when you were having operations and tests. I haven’t had time enough to slow you see so I’m going to take a look now and then off I get from this machine that holds me bound most days.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, dear Brigitte. I am so glad you saved this story of mine and thought to come back to it. That is a gift to me. I am doing much better now. Thank you for remembering me.
I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing better Rachel. And that this was a gift to you. It was to me for sure!
[…] I love these articles by Rachel Macy Stafford about parenting Noticers. This one and this one were particularly helpful to […]
[…] In the past week, I’ve had conversations with 2 different parents about the hard realities of loving our kids through criticism and rejection. Sometimes it’s because they are different, sometimes they are just the brunt of someone else’s hurt. But whatever the cause, it breaks our parental hearts in two. That’s why I’m teaching my kids to be noticers. […]