Monday, September 17, 2012

an unhurried childhood

I clearly remember the first day we took Che to Montessori. We walked slowly, following his amble, and when we reached the gate his teacher welcomed us. "I like that you let Che take his time," he said.

I thought about that comment as I drove Che to school yesterday. I thought about it in reference to the hurriedness of our morning; the bread that I eyed as it took forever to defrost, the lost drink bottle, the blankets and books that went flying as we hunted for a hat.

This morning, just like most days, Che was unperturbed by time. He sat in a cardboard box popping bubble wrap; Poet was close by marvelling at a balloon. I was thinking about my role as the gentle hurrier - c'mon, c'mon, c'mon as I mentally tick the list - bag, jumper, hat, drink bottle, sunscreen, book for news, fruit for snack. If I didn't hurry we would never get to school on time; hurrying is necessary but sometimes I wish it wasn't so.

              This week the new issue of Little One Kids comes out and in it is a feature about Elsa and Hugo's rooms. I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle (the muma) and writing the story. Her two children, older than mine, are beautiful - kind, intelligent and thoughtful. Out of all the questions that Michelle answered there was one about extra-curricular activities that really resonated with me. She is passionate about an unhurried childhood -.slow days spent close to home without the need to do every.single.available.activity. As a result her children have a palpable love of their abode and are happy to spend their weekends in the garden, down the dirt road, chasing the rather endearing Spoon - the dog. 

As a writer one of the best things that can come from working on a story is understanding. I loved reading Michelle's words as she discussed the considered rhythm of their days in country Tasmania. I've been thinking about Che and how next year, as he trots off to school, I'll do my best to not get caught up in the whirr of schedules, after-school activities and weekend to-dos. 

Our mornings will be rushed, our weekends will be pyjama-clad and, hopefully, I'll be able to slow childhood, just a bit. Am I dreaming?

photo: a little cottage in berry....

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