The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Just Slow Down

on August 21, 2012

Have you ever noticed that there are some things we expect to be fast and get annoyed when they aren’t and there are some things that we expect to be slow and get just as annoyed when they go fast?  Example?  I want the week days to go by fast and then want the weekend to go slow.  Life there is a difference in 24 hours.  They should go slower on my days off right?  Like we could enter a time warp sort of things on Friday evening.  Yeah.  I’d like that.  Sorry – back on track: I want my internet connection and computer to be fast so I can get things done but I want my coffee pot to slow drip so it tastes better.  I expect the person I’m driving behind to go faster (well….at least the speed limit) but I’d like the person darting in and out of traffic to slow down.  I couldn’t wait to grow up – the years couldn’t go fast enough – and now that my kids are getting older I want it to slow down.  Amazing how that works isn’t it?  The older I get the more I realize that I really am not built for speed.  Never was that more evident than yesterday.

Arriving home from school with our youngest in tow I was tired.  I’m still trying to adjust to our back-to-school schedule and when you add “Monday” to that…well…you get the picture.  There’s another thing I’d like to see slow down: summer vacation. It goes too fast. I wasn’t really cranky per se, just kind of felt slow and dopey.  As our son sat eating his after school snack I noticed that he has reverted back to his “chew at the speed of sound” habit.  I blame schools and their 15 minute lunch periods for this.  If a kid wants to actually eat their food during the lunch time alloted they have to chew like a rabbit on speed to eat it all.  Instead of teaching our lunch ladies how to help kids make healthy choices why don’t we extend lunch time a little so that kids could actually chew slowly and taste their food?  Maybe we could give their stomachs the chance to realize they are full and not instill a habit that is hard to break at home?  Sigh.  Oops. Sorry.  I digressed again.  At any rate I reminded him that he was not in an eating contest so it was appropriate to slow down and savor his snack.  I’m sure that I’ll continue to do that for the rest of the school year.  See? Not built for speed eating.  I don’t think it’s good for you.

Our daughters arrived home a short time later. I was trying to finish something on the computer while they sat at the table behind me telling their dad about their day. They’d had a good day.  Or at least I think they did because they seemed to be excited about it. Or maybe they just seemed excited because of the way they were talking. At 150 miles per hour.  That was the slow speed.  Now I admit that I was only about half listening to the first part of the conversation.  I was trying to concentrate on what I was doing so their chatter was background music in my already slow-moving brain.  Until someone said. “Right Mom?”  I hate it when they catch me like that.  Not paying attention to what they are saying and then suddenly put in the spot to answer a question.  In my defense I wasn’t pretending to be listening at the time. My back was turned.  They just assumed that because I am their mother who can hear them whisper argue upstairs and yell at them for it that I was following along the conversation.  I wasn’t.  I’m also not dumb enough to agree to something that I didn’t hear.  Too much experience there.  That NEVER works.  I turned around and said, “Huh?”  Now here is where the story gets scary.  Well to me anyway.

Our older daughter launched into her explanation of the conversation to which I hadn’t been paying attention.  She did it at her usual speed: fast.  Teenage girl fast. I can usually follow her because, well, I WAS a teenage girl  Was being the key word in that sentence.  Looking at my lovely daughter talking  and throwing her hands about to punctuate her points it occurred to me that I was not tracking.  In my head it  kind of  sounded like the teacher from Peanuts was talking.  You remember her:

Wel….sort of like her.  You’d have to speed it up to fast forward and raise the octave.  Kind of picture the Chipmunks playing the part of Charlie Brown’s Teacher.  Yeah.  That would be it.  I wasn’t getting a thing and I was TRYING to listen that time.  I stopped her 150 mph speech with my hand and said, “Wait. What?  Could you do that again but slower and in English this time?”  Now I know I was tired and probably wasn’t tracking the best but I didn’t think my request was unreasonable.  She wasn’t making sense.  To me anyway.  Then my younger daughter looked at me surprised and said, “Mom.  What is wrong with you? I understood every word of that!”  Figures. They have hardly agreed on anything for fourteen years but suddenly they speak the same language.  The one that comes out of their mouths at the speed of light. It’s the language of teenage girls and I’m afraid I’ve gotten too old to comprehend it any longer. It was a sad moment in my life.  Not only was I out of “the club”, I’m pretty sure I looked a little like this….


2 responses to “Just Slow Down

  1. Nailed it on the head!! Also, I can’t wait until I have teenagers!!!!

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