Monday, July 30, 2018

Babies make us slow down by Carole P. Roman

Babies make us slow down
by Carole P. Roman
Originally published on |
Picture taken by Brittney Bass
Today I spoke to my radio show producer, I commented that I noticed a new quality in her voice.
It was softer, slower as if she was savoring each minute. She paused for a second and asked what did I mean? I explained that I knew she had just become a grandmother and it showed.
Her voice had a lazy quality that it had never had before. I explained my theory. I felt that having a grandchild had put the brakes on her busy life and she was learning to slow down without even realizing.
She laughed out loud and said it was ironic. She recently admitted work had become not only tedious but overwhelming and hired an assistant to help her multitask. For the first time in her life, she was delegating her assignments out.
“Yes, I know,” I agreed. “You have more important things to do now.”
My entire married life felt as though it existed on a superhighway. It ramped up when we started our family.
I had to work, take care of the house and my kids at breakneck speed. Our business is seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day, so issues came at us fast and furiously. With a high profile clientele, problems must be addressed the minute you become aware of them. As a result, I rush everything else in my life.
Sleep was only for the exhausted. Laundry was a living thing that multiplied like an alien organism. Household appliances broke; faucets leaked, and interminable cable adjustments were massive time suckers. Then you entered the purgatory of waiting for repair people who had a looser interpretation of a four-hour window.
I hated Science Fair with a vengeance, gritted my teeth when I had to help with spelling or math, and I remember watching my kid drain his bottle while I glanced impatiently at the pile of reports waiting on my desk.
Dinner was never peaceful. It was a mad dash to finish so I could get to new assignments that were piling up like a blizzard. The pressure was on because waiting in the wings was that book report that included at hurried trip for the stupid construction paper I bought in bulk and then could never find.
As my business grew, I learned to give projects to my growing staff.
It was with great relief I handed off home and school responsibilities to my kids as they matured and could handle things for themselves.
Most parts of my early married life are not filled with rosy memories. When I look back through the lens of time, it a colorful mash of a kaleidoscope, indistinct and blurred.
Then we had grandchildren and everything suddenly slowed as if caught in a pool of molasses. The rush simply ended.
I can gaze for hours at one of my grandchildren chewing, their chipmunk cheeks filled, their eyes pleading with me to intervene on their behalf to allow them to spit out their half-eaten broccoli.
How about waiting for those chunky arms to pull themselves up and reach for you?
Hours melt when you watch dimpled hands squeeze a banana into submission, or pile all 1,002 blocks onto the carpet before the rest of Mommy’s company arrives.
The timbre of our voices change. I think we laugh more. I might be late for my next meeting because I’ve had the realization that we can all wait until I find the latest picture of my brood. Not that one, the one buried in my photos that I insist you must see. Well, at least I’m not making them wait while I search for Waldo. I do that one only when we are at home.
We don’t mind reading that same story another time. It’s just as funny the fourteenth time as it was the first.
Saying goodbye take longer too. We run back for more hugs and kisses despite the waiting uber or spouse.
Time ceases to be important because when you are a grandparent. You understand you better slow down and enjoy it. It’s when you realize you need to savor those moments because they don’t last forever, and guess what… neither do you.

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