Recently on a walk through the woods I experienced a little thing I like to call “a moment of intense fellowship”. We use this term for multiple things (frustration, anxiety, disagreements, “intimate times”, etc) so sometimes it may be hard to distinguish what kind of “intense fellowship” may be taking place.
We have been on this trail so many times and we’ve never really gotten more than 100 yards down the trail. If you know me, you know I love walking in the woods and exploring new places. However, with two toddlers ages 1 & 3, it’s usually very difficult to go very far without having a “rest”.
This particular day, I really wanted to get to Boyscout Island which is a location just off the trail that is very wooded, has spurs of small trails, forts and all kinds of things to climb on, etc. It’s a pretty neat place, the only time we’ve been there was when Paul & I went walking here for a “date” without the kids; it’s a place I know the kids could run around and have a ton of fun with. We’ve been wanting to get the kids there ever since we found this place and we try every time we come here.
Paul addressed my attitude, asking me why I was frustrated. I told him that I really wanted to keep going to be more in the “woods” and to get to Boyscout Island. I wanted to take pictures and see the kids having fun.
He laughed at me.
Which was actually a really good thing to do, because he then stated, “You’re frustrated because you want to take pictures of our family having fun.” Meanwhile, our kids were sitting in the dirt, “hammering” with broken logs and drawing on the ground with sticks. They were inspecting every single blade of grass, insect, log, or trying to climb trees. They were having fun and I was missing it because I was mad that we couldn’t get to a place to “have fun”.
I was being ridiculous! It was just what I needed to hear because it reminded me of the following things:
- I didn’t have to have an agenda when spending time with my family. I could let my plan go or my desire to do something differently.
- I need to embrace them for how they are, not wishing they would be different. My kids are slow and that’s ok! I can go at their pace. It reminds me to slow down as well and to enjoy all that God has to offer me wherever I am at.
- I need to enjoy watching them learn about their environment and join them in it. I wish I still had the longevity of observation that they do. Too often I am going at such a fast pace in order to be productive and get things done that I don’t notice the small things around me that are very interesting.
The rest of our time on the trail went much better, as well as every subsequent time. We may not reach Boyscout Island for a year but I will always remember the wonderful memories we make while moseying down a trail and watching everyone enjoy themselves. There’s else nothing like it!