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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

and now your moment of zen

As a mother of four, I am usually the one teaching my children things.

This is the right way to cross the street.

You should eat your vegetables like Jamie Oliver says.

Be kind to NYC tourists, they are people, too.

And please put the toilet lid down when you're finished. Girls don't like to fall in.

If you're a parent, I'm sure you agree with me.

Life gets busy. There are places to be. Deadlines to meet. Meals to prepare. Battles to wage. The list can go on and on. But every now and then our children are the ones to teach us things. They remind us of what is truly important. My seven year old, Lily, does this.

Lily is obsessed with flowers. If there was a stronger word to describe this, I would use it. But since I'm still working on my first cup of coffee, I can't find that word. Several times a day, as we are walking down the streets of New York holding hands, my arm is rapidly pulled out of my socket. All because of flowers.

Lily: "Flowers!"
Me: "Yes, Lily. Those are flowers."
Lily: "Wait!!! We need to stop and smell them. Aren't they the MOST beautiful flowers you've ever seen!"

Keep in mind, she says this about every flower. The most delicate tulip or the ugliest weed that is sprouting some yellow version of a flower. It's all beautiful in her eyes. And needs to be noticed.

I used to get frustrated, hurry her along, and tell her we needed to be somewhere. But lately, I've been using this time to follow her lead.
So I stop. Stop everything and smell the flowers with her.

Stop thinking about bills I need to pay.
Stop thinking about what to make for dinner.
Stop thinking about how to remedy a problem.

I stop and smell the roses, as they say. And when I do this, I find that it adds such an element of peace to my day.

There is a reason flowers are so beautiful. It's so we stop and notice them.

So, if you see a flower today. Stop. Stop and take time to notice.


Catherine said...


Last year, maybe longer, a famous musician (cellist maybe) played in the NY subway station. This guy drew sell out crowds in theatres. But in the subway only children stopped to listen. Adults were all in a hurry. I'll look for the article and post it. It was a good reminder to stop and listen to the music, you never know what you'll hear.

Anonymous said...

I have found that having a momma duck sitting on her eggs right outside my front door has caused me to stop often and just look. What a miracle to see her hour after hour just caring for her eggs. It's incredible how she blends with nature to stay hidden. Now, I wait for the babies :)

sherilee said...

Great reminder. I look out every morning at the same beautiful view, and it's so easy to just glance and take it for granted. I TRY to remember to pause and really look at it, soak it all in. Especially on mornings like this one, where everything is sparkling and gorgeous. Heaven!

Catherine said...

hooboy I got a lot of those details wrong, right sentiment though :)

It was Jan 2007, violinist Joshua Bell played outside the DC Metro. "Things never got much better. In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look."

Elizabeth said...

Well, of course. That Lily is a wise girl.

Anonymous said...

That is such a sweet photo - and a great reminder. Thanks for that. My 4-yr-old daughter does this as well. She always wants to buy some too. I think today we will.

nickernoodle said...

Cooper will do the same thing or be looking at the diff. plants. He makes me slow down and when I am in such a hurry I remind myself to not let life pass me by. Esp the moments I have with my children. That is a great picture of Lily!

Emily said...

Lily sounds like a lot of fun to parent.

We had to stop and feel the moss on a family walk a few days ago - and thankfully that's not a euphemism for something ;) Our 3 year old was delighted to discover a patch of moss growing on a tree trunk and we spent a good 5 minutes reveling in its fuzziness.

Sohailah said...

Excellent. And the flowers where you are, right now, ARE truly gorgeous. Especially the pink tulips outside the Plaza Hotel.

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