Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Are we there yet?

When I was a child, riding in the back seat of my parents car was an adventure. With five little ones all croweded together (in the age before car seats) we always got into fusses with each other. And of course, there was always the proverbial question, "Are we there yet?" I'm sure these were stressful trips for my parents, especially on long trips.

But we weren't the only ones. My parents would have a diagreement every so often. It seems my mom had a few bad driving habits that drove my dad nuts.

When she was at the wheel, she would use both feet. She'd have one foot on the brake an one foot on the gas. She would adjust her speed and brake at the same time. This bugged my dad incessantly. He would always try to get her to change her ways. To no avail. My mom would cease the habit for a few miles and then eventually her left foot would creep back into action. I'm sure it was not intentional with five small children screaming in the back seat, she just wanted to "get there" the quickest way possible.

But a bad habit for my mom is translating into a good habit in my schooling. I am nearing the end of "formally" schooling my oldest and my youngest just turned two. I find my mom's old habit creeping into my attitude today. I see the end of the journey and want to see how fast we can get there. But I have an eye on the rear view mirror and want to keep one foot on the brake so that it doesn't all end too fast.

I remember when the children were young and I used to think about what it woul be like when they were all potty trained or could finally read by themselves. It seemed that I was always looking toward the next stage and wondering how fast it would come. Always silently asking, "Are we there yet?"

I find myself at a slower pace today. The sense of urgency to "get there" is not as important as slowing down to enjoy the moment. I have six now chattering and asking, "Are we there yet". Eager to tackle a new adventure and show how "grown up" they are. And yes, there are the fights and disagreements just like when I was a child. Some things never change.

But just like my mom, I plan on having one foot firmly on the gas to keep us on track this school year. We will hopefully be consistent with our studies and work toward finishing strong. But I will also have one foot on the brake so that we can enjoy the ride and take in all the sights along the way.

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