Sticking up for 'Slow family'
"Slow family": I just heard this term this week for the first time and I loved it immediately. Though I consider myself a modern woman, traditional family values are very important to me. Sure, I want my son to enjoy all the advantages of the modern world, but I also want him to be able to appreciate camp fires and family movie nights.
As I read through author Susan Sachs Lipman's definition of "slow family" I quickly realized that I have been a proponent of the movement for a very long time. My husband and I regularly take walks or bike rides to the library and ice cream shop, we pick our own pumpkins in October and cut down our Christmas tree in November, we make pie dough from scratch and we sit down to eat dinner together every night. These things define our lifestyle and long before we had a child I dreamed of doing them with him, of teaching him the importance of family time and community and sustainability. I recall explaining the importance of family dinner to a friend a few years back and she just didn't get it -- in her world, kids went to sports practices after school, came home late and each ate dinner on their own. In my world, that is unacceptable -- "we'll wait" I said, and we will.
I know that life gets hectic and that as we go through different seasons of life it may not be easy, but making time for each other has to be a priority. Sure you can say "well Dad's working late and Julie has soccer practice and Alex is at gymnastics so we'll eat now and they can eat later," but what happens when you lose all rapport with your children and your significant other because you've forgotten to take the time to catch up and find out what's going on in each other's lives, to learn more about each other and to appreciate your time together? In five years you can't turn around and ask for a do-over -- the time will be lost, and you could regret not taking that evening walk your little girl begged for. So again, I say "we'll wait."
For more information on what it is to be a "slow family" check out Lipman's blog.
Image via Flick/ Keoni Cabral