Slowing down: What Jamie taught me today


[jj-ngg-image-list gallery="121" width="655" order="sort order"] "I want to erzähl you a story."

My middle son Jamie is three and a half. He is being raised bilingual, and uses German words when speaking English a lot. It's often so cute that I struggle to correct him.

I didn't correct him today either.

He has such an enthusiasm for stories. He makes up the most random things, but a few things always seem to happen at some point: Someone is "faster and faster". Someone is being chased by a monster / lion / ghost. Someone is flying. Someone crashes.

I sat next to him, pulled him on my lap, and listened to his story. Being amazed at the wonder how children learn language, and inspired by his vivid imagination.

But mostly, just enjoying the moment and his story.

We don't stand still often enough to hear the stories that matter. Sometimes the stories are between the lines. Sometimes things are only said if there has been silence first. Sometimes the story IS the silence.

Our world is often hectic. My world certainly is. I have three kids now, but even before I had them, let me tell you, I was still EXTREMELY busy. Of course, I laugh now about the spare time I had then (and didn't realise I had).

I totally EXCEL at finding new things to do. If there was a subject called "Creating work for yourself" I would get top marks every time. Maybe you would too.

There's always something else to learn, try, research, photograph, ... and this is good, as it makes me the person I am. This enthusiasm for life is something I want to pass on to my kids for sure.

But sometimes, it's just as important to stop, sit down and listen to a story. To smell the roses. To just BE.

So, what are you doing just now? Wedding planning, by any chance? Browsing the web for some favour ideas? Checking your wedding day weather forecast for the 100th time? Researching the meaning of flowers and colour schemes?

I won't tell you these things are not important. Because they are, and I was right there with you when I got married.

(AND, by the way, if you are researching colour schemes, there IS a website where you can create a colour palette from a picture you like. Back in the days when I was wedding planning, I uploaded a picture of my bouquet and generated colour schemes to go with it for half an hour. OK, who am I kidding. One hour.)

But maybe, just tonight, try to take a step back. Go into the kitchen and put on some tea. Surprise your partner with a cup, cuddle in and listen to his story.

Or just enjoy the silence. Together.

Mareike xx


I will share a few more thoughts and tips around slowing down over the next few weeks, so check back in! Did you know I'm on Facebook? You can keep up with what I blog here by liking my page.