Eric Carle is one of my favorite children’s book authors. Recently S. (who is now two and a half years old) and I checked “Slowly Slowly Slowly Said The Sloth”, out of the library. This book delighted S. and never failed to relax her before nap time as I read it in a very quiet and s-l-o-w voice. What I really loved, (and lifted from the back of the book to share with you) was a note to readers that Eric Carle wrote that struck me as a good meditation for our times and for all of us – parents or not- so here it is:
Why are we always in such a hurry ? Rush! Rush! Rush! We scurry from here to there. We play computer games and then-quick! click! -we watch t.v. We eat fast food. Everyone tells us to make it snappy. Hurry up ! Time is flying. Step on it ! There’s so little time to be with friends, to watch a sunset, or gaze at a star-filled sky. AH, what we could learn -even if just a little-from the gentle sloth who slowly, slowly, slowly, crawls along the branch of a tree, eats a little, sleeps a lot, and lives in peace.
It strikes me that one of the paradoxes of parenting is that spending a day caring for a busy toddler can seem like it will never end, and yet this time in a child’s life is so fleeting…
One of the great gifts of parenting or caring for a young child is the many opportunities we are offered to slow down and exist in the present moment. Try to take a breath today, and create an opening to just be with your little one in a relaxed way for a few minutes or more. See if it doesn’t make a difference for both of you.