Toys and stuffed animals rotate in popularity here. Some gradually fall to the bottom of the bin. Others get tossed asunder at random. Then there are those that suddenly get plucked out of the pile and promoted to the ranks of favorite. Sometimes I forget a toy even existed until I see it lovingly resurrected after months of absence.
In the last week, two stuffed animals have been brought back into circulation by my children. One is Peter Rabbit, a classic plush that was given to me decades ago. The other is Turtley, which came with our tortoiseshell kitten when we adopted her from the Humane Society well over a year ago.
I didn’t pay much attention to Peter or Turtley until yesterday, when I remembered that our prompt for this month is Steady. Then I couldn’t get Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare” out of my head. Actually, I hardly remember the fable itself, just the moral that slow and steady wins the race. That got me thinking about motherhood, and how I always feel like I’m racing through it. Make sure they’re both fed and dressed by 7:40am. Quick, grab a snack for the car. Throw the clean clothes in the dryer before they start to smell musty. Finish the grocery shopping in time for his preschool pickup. Drop the DVDs at the library on the way home. Put away the clean dishes and start a new load of laundry before it’s time to get her from the bus stop.
Some days, I feel like I need to be the Energizer Bunny to get everything done. On occasion, I do knock a bunch of items off my list quickly. But there are many days when I don’t; when everything feels impossible and messy. Sometimes I’m just plain slow. Sometimes slow and steady. Other times I’m harried and erratic. It all depends on the weather, who has what activities, and how everyone is feeling on any given day. I’m okay with the changeability of my schedule and those of my family members. The key for me is to remember this: it isn’t a race. Life will go on whether I finish everything I think I need to get done by a certain time or not. Life is going by too fast as it is. My children are already six and three and a half. The last thing I want to do is race through mothering them.

From me to you, here and now…