Edem often delays our departures in the morning. He has a long arsenal of stall tactics: he has to switch to a different pair of underwear; he wants a different uniform shirt (they are all the same); OOPS! he forgot to eat! This despite my constant urging and his reply of: "I am not hungry!"; his imaginary pet shark is lonely/hungry/out of the pool; the stuffed dolphin might miss him... The list is long, and the range of tactics grows more and more clever as the week wears on. My patience, on the other hand, grows shorter.
There is one thing that Edem does every morning that I was seeing as another way to delay the start of our day, (Making me late for work) and this is picking flowers for me to wear in my hair. He gives them to me every single morning. Most days, I am too exasperated and frazzled by the point of delivery to appreciate his little gesture.
My gratitude practice has, as I previously mentioned, forced me to slow down a bit and take notice of the little wonderful things in my days. Today, I truly took notice of Edem's love of flowers and his even greater love of giving them to me for my hair. Unlike most frazzledy days, today I took the time to look at the flower with him, smelling it and commenting on the texture. We looked at the stunning yellowy-orange stamen and the ruffly edges of the bright red hibiscus petals, and we wondered what it would be like if flowers could be used like crayons to color the world around us.
I was late for work, by about 3 minutes, but we were happy the whole ride there. Edem was thrilled to tell anyone within ear-shot that his mommy was wearing his flower in her hair. 3 minutes; that is all it really took to stop and appreciate the lovely gesture handed over by my son.
I realize, as I write this, that my son is not going to be jumping at the opportunity to gift me with flowers for my hair forever. At some point, he will be the one racing out the door, trying to get to one place or another. Now is the time to slow down, to accept his offerings, and build on the little special moments that make motherhood so special. Not only am I grateful for his gifts, I am also grateful for the opportunity to slow down and receive them. I am grateful that I have seen, before it is too late, how precious these moments are.
Erin Michelle Threlfall
Theatre Artist, Activist, and Educator, Erin is the mother of a budding genius in his 7th year of study. Erin and her little man, Edem, have a plan to investigate world theatre and influence education one continent at a time. Ghana, South Korea, Togo and Bali have been checked off the list of places to live; these days they call Brooklyn home.