Slow time

21 Nov 2008

we have had rain

We have had rain.

Good soaking rain.

Not just drizzle , not floods, but useful plant growing rain.

And there is more forecast.

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful, heartfelt stories they left on yesterday's give away post.

So many tales of mothers, grandmothers and fathers who, just by caring for their little ones have given such a strong legacy to the generations that have followed.

It makes you realise how , in the midst of just doing life, we are creating so many memories for our children.

Not by trying to but just by doing life. By caring for our families and homes whatever way we can, by providing good food and simply sewing or knitting clothes, by growing fruit and vegetables, by doing the laundry , by making a cosy, safe home, by reading to our children, listening, teaching, singing, laughing, setting boundaries.
It is called nurturing and it is what being a parent is all about.

It makes you reflect on how your own children will see the childhood that you have given them and wonder how it will be remembered.

I remember reading someone's memoirs of childhood during the thirties and forties and how he said he remembered spending a lot of time quietly waiting, waiting for dinner, waiting for bedtime, waiting for the school bus.
He didn't feel it was wasted time just slow time.

Childhood is an age of slow time; summer lasts forever, Christmas never comes ,the school day is endless, dinner is always ages away.
Or is it that childhood should be a slow time but for many the pace has quickened so much that children are hurtling towards adolescence too fast to cope with the changes that come too early.

Childhood should be a slow time, children have not lost the ability to live in the moment and when you live every second of the day , a day is forever.
We watch our children as slowly, over the years, they pass from tiny toddlers for whom 5 minutes is inconceivable to primary schoolers learning to tell the time but oh so capable of getting lost in the moment and forgetting get ready for school.
The child grows and so slowly moves out of the dreamlike state of childhood, the eyes full of wonder, the absolute responsiveness to their environment.

As the parents we are making the environment for these dreamy little beings to explore and grow in.
It doesn't have to be perfect , we don't have to tie ourselves up in knots trying to do and be everything .
We do need to give childhood the respect it deserves and let it happen slowly, let our children have time to mature at their own pace so that they learn slowly how to become responsible vital teenagers with an eagerness for life rather than burnt out over scheduled wordlywise but perhaps spiritually lacking young people .

Childhood for adults seems fleeting , for children it is forever, a time of waiting, slow time , time to explore, time to do nothing , time to dream, time to start figuring out how and where you fit in.

We can't know what our children will remember and each child in the family will have different memories.
But when we take on the responsibility of nurturing our home and family life, when we truly commit to what surrounds us and genuinely live each moment as if it matters, days become long and slow and full and busy in a good way.
We take on a little of the wisdom and joy of childhood and mix it with the realities and strengths of adulthood and in the process I think we give our children a great vision of what a life truly lived can be.

" look to this day for it is life.

in its brief course lie all

the realities and truths of existence,

the joy of growth, the glory of action,

the splendor of beauty...

today well lived makes every

yesterday a memory of happiness

and every tomorrow a vision of hope

look well, therefore, to this day..."

ancient sanskrit.

You are all most welcome to leave you childhood memories of homecooked food or homemade clothes on yesterday's post.

I will select a winner for the giveaway books on the 27th November.

If you have the time please take a few moments to trip down memory lane with those who have already left their comments.

12 Responses to “Slow time”

  1. Such heartfelt comments. I am a kindy teacher who has chosen to be a SAHM with my two small children. This echoes exactly my sentiments. They grow up so QUICK. Saviour each precious moment.

  2. Jenny this is one of the best posts I have read.
    Your right sometimes I think I push my younger ones to grow up to fast.From today onwards I am going not to I will let them enjoy there slow ways and there childhood years........Thanks

  3. Hi...My first time visit to your site. Enjoyed browsing. Love your name -- Little Jenny Wren -- does that mean you like Tasha Tudor?

    Your site is beautiful and restful. I'll come again.

  4. This is a beautiful post. thankyou. I had just finished reading a piece in the school newsletter along the same themes. Having small children it is nice to be reminded of these things every now and again so that you can touch base with where you are at and slow down.

  5. What a lovely reflection. I have often remembered that time went so slowly when I was a child and wish it could be like that again. A little boy I once knew used to call the weekend "the little holiday." I remember he was so excited that after a two week school holiday, he got another "little holiday" after only 5 days!! I learnt a lot from this little boy. The small things in life are often overlooked in the rush.

  6. Oh what a lovely post. Life here lately feels like a whirlwind, and I'm NOT liking it at all. Seems that we are out almost each afternoon or evening with kids sporting commitments. I think children can learn a lot from being part of a team, but honestly I think the organisers of these sports think that the kids are mini olympic athletes. They expect so many hours of training and such commitment not just from the child but also from the family to ferry them around etc. What ever happened to a bit of practise at lunch time at school and a game on Saturday morning? No wonder they burn out and sporting clubs can't get members.
    One of my daughters does gymnastics, she is 8 and is expected to train for 4 hours each week, the other does surfclub and is expected to train for 6 hours each week, she is only 10. They both love their sports and do really well at them but honestly I'm almost burnt out and am ready to say no more. Ooops didnt mean to get on my soap box,

    cheers Kate

  7. Hi Jenny, I live in the UK and read your blog every morning! I think you will have already heard of the 'slow food' group? Cooking from scratch and taking the time to eat it too. I do believe there are now quite a large number of us trying to get off the fast lane and slow down to enjoy life, the moment. topic..sorry! but I enjoyed reading E.G.'s The heart of the family after first learning about the book here and wondered if you had ever read Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson? It's such a lovely book.
    Very Best Wishes..Bee.

  8. Hi Jen,such wise words from such a wise woman............


  9. Beautifully said and unfortunately rarely said anymore. You not only bless the little ones with your dolls but with your words.

  10. I'm already missing the rain. I like it so much.


  11. Jenny you have yet again articulated exactly how I feel about childhood, and the reason we don't to the mad dash about after school. I'd rather let my children play their way through childhood, exploring at their own pace and discovering their own adventures, without succumbing to the adult life of busyness.

    I tried out a new recipe yesterday that make me think of you. Simple, fresh ingredients, to-die-for flavours. It's a Maggie Beer recipe for warm chicken salad:
    I made some adjustments to suit myself and things she suggested on her TV show, which you'll find here:

  12. What a beautiful post, Jenny. I loved my "slow time" during childhood, but I feel I didn't have enough of it. For my children, I would like to create an opportunity to explore, dream, do nothing, and grow slowly... or rather, at their own pace.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.