As I wondered through Oldtown yesterday I saw a family with young children. They ran in and out of the stores purchasing items and food for their children in a very rushed unhappy manor. They stopped at the playground and they set a timer for 2 minutes. In the toy store they allowed 5 minutes and a budget of $20. They bought cookies at the cookie store but didn’t allow the children time to enjoy them. They took them home much to the youngest child’s disappointment. It appeared they had a list of what to do while in Oldtown and they seemingly accomplished it in record speed. Yet, they were grumpy and lacked joy.

As I watched this family, we seemed to be going the same places, I was confused and a little sad. Childhood is not a checklist. It is an experience. You cannot plan a childhood. You have to let a child explore. It is how children learn. Childhood can not be purchased. Throwing money at a child does not develop them. Freedom to take in one’s surroundings does. To play. To touch. To see. To run. To ask questions. Those things take time. Like many aspects of this life, it cannot be rushed. Patience and Presence. They are essential when raising children.

I see this as a problem throughout our culture. We are selfish. We go through the motions of completing lists, fulfilling roles, and doing our jobs. Yet, the true heart of the “why” is missing. Time and presence are so necessary. They communicate love. Patience facilitated learning. Listening grows trust. Putting oneself to death for another, in order to put the others needs and desires first is a truly beautiful thing. It’s what our Heavenly Father did for us. Just my thoughts. 💗

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