An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth. –Bonnie Friedman
Some people are simply not in a hurry; they come and go at their own pace when they are good and ready to do so. I don’t mind these folks. They can be amiable enough if one is patient, but when it so happens that one of these dontrushme people calls you mama….well, that’s a whole different story.
My first born chose his birth day by bursting the bag of waters which surrounded him (with quite a bang, I might add). Then, in typical characteristic fashion, he settled back into my womb and decided that he wasn’t quite ready to be born. Fourteen hours of walking changing positions and labor intensifying drugs later, Ryan had no choice but to be born.
Of course, after all the drama of his labor, I was exhausted and hoped for a quick delivery. When I saw the faces of the doctor and nurses after my first attempt at pushing, I knew something was wrong. The room buzzed into hurried motion. I was given oxygen, moved into my left side where I couldn’t see the monitor and told to push hard. Each time I did, I watched the faces of the medical staff crease with worry. I knew something was wrong and no one was telling me what it was. Finally, in a last ditch effort, the doctor gave me a nice large episiotomy, and Ryan was born.
The doctor counted out loud, “One, two, three!!! Wow! Three times!” He looked up at me, “Well, Mama, your son had that cord around his neck three times–that’s what caused his heartbeat to plummet every time you pushed. We can be thankful he is here and safe now.”
After his dramatic birth, Ryan continued to be frustrated with this world into which he’d been born. The littlest thing would send him into a crying jag that would last for hours. As a new mom I read every book and tried every method available to calm Ryan, but nothing seemed to work.
Nothing but time. Unhurried time.
Gradually, Ryan settled down into our little routine of simple living. As long as I didn’t try to rush him through a feeding or getting dressed or putting him down, and as long as I didn’t change our routine in any way for any reason, Ryan was a most cooperative and pleasant toddler.
Not many things have changed in the 25 years since his birth.
Ryan still doesn’t like to be rushed, and he still likes routine. He explained to me once that he loved routine because structure allows progression in a more efficient way. In this way, he could continue to grow because there was something that had been mastered.
Ryan was always good at seeing things. Like a good director, he had vision to see what would work or what would look good when it moved from a concept into a reality.
Ryan was my gotoguy for fixing things. From a a young age, he could figure out how to take things apart and put them back together again. I was always amazed at his patience and ability to see projects to completion.
I can’t think of any skill Ryan has set his mind to doing that he doesn’t do well–from dog training to furniture assembly to cooking haute cuisine.
His first quarter century has been racked with many difficult times, but through it all, Ryan has slowly, steadily and confidently accomplished goal after goal. In his beautiful, observant and unhurried way, he has quietly seen what needs to be done. And he has quietly accomplished it.
Even though when he was a young child I sometimes wanted to pull out my hair by the roots at his stubborn refusal to hurry or flex with a changed plan, I love my quiet boy who will not be rushed.
I love the way he observes the world–the way he observes me–and sees what needs to be done. Ryan doesn’t just see the obvious surface of what needs to be done; he sees the context of where, when, how and why. He comes along side and encourages and goes about getting the job done and bringing out the best in people along the way.
At least he seems to bring out the best in me.
For your next quarter century, Ryan, I wish you wisdom to see the important things in life and to unhurriedly enjoy them to the fullest. May your life be filled to overflowing in the same way you fill my life to overflowing.
“When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.” –Henry David Thoreau, Walden