Professor Guttorm Fløistad is a major champion of the slow movement and summarizes the philosophy:
"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal."
Ultimately, being idle is good for my kids. It brings out their natural sense of play and discovery. We need to rest, reflect and just spend time together chatting and laughing. I don't want our house to be grand central station, where all the members of the family are just "passing through" on their way to other destinations. I want for our family to BE the destination. Far too soon all my little birdies will be itching to leave the nest. While they want to, I want to gather in the nest and make memories. There is much to be said for blowing bubbles out in the backyard.
For the past year or so we have been drop outs from the structured activity scene. I was getting burnt out, and things weren't running smoothly at home. I talked to the kids about it, and they felt the same way. I started being very picky about what events we committed to. When we put things on the schedule we started focusing more on small play dates, more casual venues. I don't want to spend their childhood with my finger on the fast forward button. I think if I did, at the end of it all I would feel robbed. Don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of fun and activities with socialization. We aren't becoming hermits. We are just trying to achieve a kind of balance.
The downside to this is that there are people we used to see at the organized events, classes, park dates that I miss. I might have mentioned this too, I am not a great phone person. I dunno if I am just so completely unable to multitask, but I just suck at it. I think the kids can sense when the phone goes off the cradle and immediately there are three emergencies. There are only so many days in a week, and I don't want to over schedule us, but my new challenge is to find a way to stay connected and in touch with people we love without running us all ragged attending every event in town. :)