Monday, November 12, 2012

Slow Is My Motion

I'm coming! Hold your horses, already!
My son Thomas does everything slowly. He walks slowly. He talks slowly. He dresses slowly. I mean slooowly. He is not a child to be rushed for any reason. I am a punctual personal, and I hate to be late. I’m also an impatient person who hates to wait, and while this combination is not unexpected, it’s also not the best when you’re trying to gather a young (slow moving) child to go well … anywhere and get there on time.

Thomas is the child who will start getting dressed, and then fifteen minutes later will still be sitting in the spot you left him, with one pant leg on. He’ll just sit there like that until you say “Come on, Thomas!”

At this point in our relationship, I’ve learned a few tricks and frankly have acquired a bit more patience, but it wasn’t always this way. One morning before church I got so irritated (yeah, I know it’s ironic) that I told him “Thomas, you have got to move more quickly! We are going to be late! If you don’t learn to move more quickly, I don’t know what’s going to come of you! You won’t be able to keep a job because you’ll always get there late, and your wife, if you ever get around to proposing to someone, that is, if you don’t wait too long and she marries someone else, will be very unhappy with you!” At the time I think he was like, four, and I admit I went overboard. Contemplating his bleak future, Thomas started to cry. Oh man. What kind of mother does that? So, I decided I just had to respect this boy’s temperament and devise ways to work with him.

Thomas is now eight, and he’s accepted this aspect of who he is. I know because a year or so ago, as we were getting ready to go somewhere, I said (teasingly, because now this is joke between us), “Thomas you are sooooo slow,” and he responded matter-of-factly, “Slow is my motion.” We both laughed at that.

I have to admit that he got it honestly. You know how you have to be somewhere and you’re running late, so you speed your actions or leave a few things out of your routine to stay on track? Not my husband. I don’t care how late we’re running, all parts of the routine must be followed, and there is no such thing as speeding up. And Thomas’ grandfather (my father), and his uncle (my brother) are all slow and late for just about everything all the time. (For the record, my brother denies this, and perhaps he only keeps me waiting? I’ll have to check with his wife about this.)

My husband also has this habit of saying he’s ready when he isn’t. For years, when we’d be preparing to go somewhere and he’d say “Come on, let’s go!” I’d put on my coat and go to meet him at the front door. Only, he always had to run back and find something—I mean always—and I’d end up waiting by the door, all dressed up with nowhere to go as they say, for five, ten, fifteen minutes, just going crazy. Now when he says, “Come on, let’s go!” I say “Uh huh,” and if he ain’t walking out the door while saying it, I keep doing whatever I’m doing. That’s how I cope.

The point is, you can’t beat genetics, baby. Slow is Thomas’ motion. His future wife and I will just have to deal.


  1. Oh I know how this feels. I feel like I ask my son to hurry up about twenty times a day! So frustrating at times.

    I always thought I was a patient person until I had kids! I've had to learn to adapt our routine to compensate for the snail pace too - otherwise we'd always be late and I'd have lost all of my hair by now!

    Great post as always :-)

    1. Oh, the things we do for love, huh? I never actually thought about my patience (I started having children at age 21. I didn't have time to think about anything), but I quickly learned that oh no, I'm not patient. Not at all. However, being responsible for others means lots of compromise, as you've learned!