So there is a song that recently came out that has earned the description of "making moms everywhere cry", which is quite accurate. If you haven't heard it yet, grab a Kleenex (maybe 2) and take a listen to "Slow Down" by Nicole Nordeman.
I actually did not cry the first few times I heard it, but then it came on the radio as the kids and I were off for a special day together while Toby was cooing and chattering in the back and Lydia was saying "I love this day!" and Noah was going on about something he is currently interested in... and Mom was blubbering in the front. :)
I do like that song, and get the whole "slow down" thing in that every age and stage is so precious and there are certain things about it that you wish would last longer, and that children grow and change so very fast when they are little. But I am also ready for my kids to grow and go onto the next stage, because I have spent just about every minute that I can with them enjoying this one, and I am ready to grow with them. I think one reason why that "slow down" message resonates so deeply is that as a whole our society has forgotten how to slow down, and what is worth slowing down for.
Even with homeschooling and being with them all the time, too much busy and being on the go can creep in and I feel like we are not slowing down and enjoying life together as much as we should. There are two big ways I push the "slow down" button. One is to take pictures. Well, even more that usual. ;) But not posed pictures or of a certain event, just pictures that some that capture where they are at right now. My kids have gotten used to the fact that occasionally mom will shadow them with a camera and take lots of pictures... (We went to an art gallery that had a photography exhibit and Noah was all confused that there wasn't paintings and drawings displayed. I explained that photography can be art too, and that is why I take so many pictures; it is my way to have art of my favorite people and things. Since then he has been even more willing to let me be crazy camera mom.)
We get about one nice week of spring here, when the apple blossoms and lilacs are blooming and the bugs and too hot weather haven't come yet. We definitely took a "slow down" week during that this year, and it was wonderful. I lost count how many picnics in the yard we had. Some days we didn't eat inside at all. :)
Of course most of my house looked something like this and it took me a while to catch up...
...and not much official "school" was done that week...
But the slowing down is so worth it.