It’s the Simple Things!
Singing songs, taking a walk, sharing a snack, holding hands, reading a bedtime story – these are the simple things in life. My daughter is really into music, and we spend many hours every day either listening to music, making music, or singing songs. It doesn’t matter to her that her momma can’t carry a tune. As long as I’m signing one of her favorite songs, life is good. One of her other favorite activities is walking around our yard saying, hi and bye to the trees. Sometimes she just wants to walk, and at others she wants to ride in the wagon as we visit each tree. At eighteen months old, she is developing quite the personality and independent mind; but she helps me to remember the simple things.
In our fast paced world, it is important to stop once in a while and take stock of the simple things. Why does life always have to be so complex and full of hustle and bustle? It doesn’t; and we need to remember those times when things were simpler and it was fun just to sing a song or run around the yard. Why is it that as we grow older we forget those things? We’re always hurrying from this activity to that event, and forgetting that faster isn’t always better. At times I find myself thinking, “Slow down” – nothing is that important that it can’t wait a little while.
Slowing down is one of the things I work on with families every day as part of treatment for autism, help for ADHD, and support for other neurodevelopmental disorders; but it can be the hardest thing to implement. I think that if you view slowing down as a way to enjoy the moment and preserve memories it makes it easier. Time goes way too fast that if we don’t slow down once in a while, a whole year passes and we feel like we have nothing to show for it; or it is difficult to pinpoint the progress that has been made. There are many good reasons for slowing down, but I think one of the biggest ones is just to appreciate the moment and build stronger relationships.
Give yourself time to reflect back on those simple things. You will be amazed at all of the things that were discovered in those moments. Sometimes it can be difficult to appreciate the simple things, especially in the midst of a busy day; but trust me, you won’t regret slowing down and taking the time to participate in a simple activity with your child.
Remember it is the simple things that we remember and cherish most later in life. It isn’t the big fancy vacations or the 25 different activities that we were involved in. It is the quiet nights by the campfire, or the family bike rides around the neighborhood, or the favorite book that mom/dad read a thousand times. I challenge you to take 5 minutes and think about the best memories you have from being a kid, and think about the times you spend with your own children. Are you creating those simple moments in your family? If so, good for you! If not, what needs to change to make that happen? Find one simple activity over the next week that you can do with your child, and take some time to reflect on it. Challenge yourself to find more of those moments each week – I promise you won’t regret it. Life is made up of many simple moments, so don’t let them pass you by unnoticed!