This is the best day!
-Ruby, upon learning the art of braiding
Two weeks ago, we set out on a summer adventure. Car was full, snacks in tow, husband in the driver's seat, and I had a good book to sweep me away. I put my phone away, and I read 400 pages in peace and without distraction. This began as a silent boycott for AT&T and the fact that we were nearly over our shared data usage (again) despite various measures to avoid that.
It turned into something else entirely.
Several months ago, I ordered Hands Free Mama after discovering some of her blog posts. The book arrived, I noted the fun cover and tucked it away for a time when I could devote the appropriate time and undivided attention. I liked what she had to say, but was intimidated to confront the guilt of old habits grown strong by a bed-ridden pregnancy and now, nursing.
I wish I had started the book sooner; it's a gently inspiring read about slowing down in this fast-paced world by turning away the temptation to be absorbed by others' lives. I circled and underlined and read and reread. Jimmy and I both took away so many things from her honest perspective, I feel like I want to shout to the world about it - the people eating in a restaurant with noses buried in brilliant screens, the moms that sit on the park benches, phone in hand, and miss their children's pure joy. The ones at stop lights (or not!!) that can't put their phone if an open moment arrives. I have been there before, replying to a forgotten text or checking email. Just this week, my phone sat quiet and unreachable as I drove. I stopped at a light and saw a woman bring two homeless men ice cold waters from the nearby gas station. It reminded me of the love that gets overlooked in the world, something I need to be reminded of often. And I could have easily missed that.
Life slowed down as technology made its escape, as we spent a week with friends, family, Power Wheels, and foods that don't make the grocery cut at home. We spent time with my grandma and grandpa, and I left with an overwhelming sense of peace and thankfulness. Just a few months ago, I contemplated the circumstances under which or if I would ever see them again.
There's something magical about the smells of summer, the places to run alongside the dreams in your imagination, the sticky popsicles, the cousin get togethers, and the s'mores. Oh, the s'mores. Time seems to stand still, just for a moment; I wish I could bottle it up and keep it on a shelf forever and ever.
This slow life? It's one I want to keep. The way the girls collapse into their beds and barely make contact with the pillow before the snores begin. Their heat-inspired wispy curls, their sticky mouths and chalky feet, they way they light up at the mention of ice cream.
I'm so thankful.