This is “Throwback Week” at Mommy on Fire – I’m publishing writing from the past as I spend time getting my babies off to school this week. Sarah starts third grade on Wednesday while my middleman is going to Kindergarten. Spencer will start Pre-Kindergarten next month. So, knowing this time is precious, I hit pause and drink them in…

The following was written for my former column at the now-defunct Helen magazine – a local magazine of fabulous quality but not enough financial support to justify its expenditures. It was published in the June 2010 issue – my children were then five, three, and almost two. Life was so different then.

As we begin to live the more ardent bedtimes, work on homework around the kitchen table, and pack lunches whilst running to beat the clock by 8 a.m. each morning,  may we be reminded of what is most important…

Helen - Column 1

There once was a time when I didn’t run behind schedule each day.  There was also once a time when I didn’t forget appointments or let it slip my mind that I was supposed to take a meal to a friend with a new baby.  At one point in time, I awoke each morning and unhurriedly showered (I could actually wash my hair!) and readied myself for the day in peace.  That time has now since passed.

I love my children.  They are neat little parcels of exorbitant energy that truly never stop but giggle so much and are so joyful that only the grouchiest curmudgeon would not smile in their presence.

However, I must admit that since having three of them within four years, my ability to be anywhere on time or remember important details has since eluded me.

It’s too full and crowded in this brain of mine – I can’t remember anything unless I back it up on a reliable hard drive, which in this case would be a notebook I possess that is accurately labeled “Mommy’s Brain.”  Without it, I’m not sure I would even remember to get myself dressed each morning.

I have received advice from others that seems really logical – get up earlier, have everything in place the night before an early morning, and add ten minutes to your estimated travel time to name a few. The list of useful tidbits is endless and while I know these people have the best intentions in the passing along of this wisdom, I often find myself tuning out and making a mental grocery list as I listen to their suggestions.

The thing is, I’ve tried all of these tricks.  Honest, I have.  I’ve just learned to accept that in this season of my life, I am going to be late more often than not and might forget more things than I remember.  I’m so thankful for grace.

Admittedly, I used to really stress about this because in my former life, I would have been called a “Type A” personality – tidy, organized, punctual, and professional.  After I decided to quit my job and become a professional mother, I found myself telling my children to hurry or say “Come on!  Step it up – we’re going to be late!”

Then one day, seeing my three children huddled together on the sidewalk as we were attempting to get somewhere, I approached in an effort to rush them along to their car seats.  There crawling on the crevices of the sidewalk was the woolliest caterpillar we had all ever seen.  There he trudged, oblivious to the four sets of eyes watching his every move.

Time stood still for just a few short minutes.  It suddenly came to me that I won’t get these years back and there will be a time when they won’t be as fascinated by a big wooly caterpillar anymore.

My children won’t know if we’re late or if mommy forgets something – again.  However, they will remember to stop and appreciate nature and to not be so controlled by a schedule that they are unable to see the beauty that surrounds them.

And that’s more important than getting to our destination on time.