Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What's the Hurry?

Every since my son started preschool, mornings (the three that he goes) have become a harried, stressful, flurry of angst. In the first place, we are not early risers. And even if, by unhappy chance, the baby wakes us up early, we'll stay in bed for as long as possible. My son often won't wake up until 8 a.m., which, I think, is perfectly lovely.

But not so lovely when you have to be somewhere at 9 a.m. The sense of pressure (notes from the school to BE ON TIME), and also some internal pressure no doubt, make for an entirely unpeaceful experience. And the kid is just going to the local preschool! This isn't his Harvard interview. He's not late for his own wedding.

I have said to my yoga students: please do NOT hurry to class. Come late if you need to. I'd rather they came late than sped on the way to their relaxation. I'd rather they came late than scurried anxiously with shallow breath to get there on time. I am often amazed by the yoga studios that insist on coming early, that insist on NO distributions (including, horror of horrors, a cell phone ringing during class).

Is this how we want to raise our children? To be so tight-assed and anxious that they'll go into paroxysms of stress in order to get to yoga class early? Honey, I think it ain't worth it.

A dear, beloved friend called today. Her partner of eight years died suddenly of a massive heart attack.

So what's the hurry? What's the hurry with these precious children? In the scheme of things, I'd rather be late and happy, than on time and stressed. Does it matter? Yes, I suppose, a little. It matters a little to be on time. But a lot? Like life or death? Not even close.

As the great writer Evelyn Waugh wrote: "Punctuality is the virtue of the bored."

This is the one life. Perhaps we should not let a little cell phone ring get our relaxed panties in a bundle? Or maybe that's the sign that we aren't so relaxed after all, eh?

Time to buy new panties. The slow down and enjoy variety.


  1. So sorry to hear about your friend's partner! That's awful.

    We generally have to be out the door by 7:30 or 8:00, depending on the day, which can be... well... interesting. This morning both Bad Cohen and I had to run back in to retrieve forgotten items while the Goobs sat in his little car seat, playing with a train and kicking the back of our seats.

    And now I'm wondering whether he has a spare set of pants in his bag or not... ugh.

    We can either rush and forget things, or take our time and be really, really, late. Like, getting a talking-to from our boss late.

  2. Makes me long for the hunter, gatherer days...