Take Your Time, Tillie
by Anjuelle Floyd
As the parent of three daughters I finally admitted that unlike when I was a child, I do not look forward to beginning of the school year.
During each day between the hours of 8 am and 3pm, all five of us are in separate places.
Summer with the absence of school and homework assignments is so much easier. I can be more spontaneous regarding activities with my children knowing that they do not have to get up early the next morning.
Over the years I have struggled with feeling that my children were not involved in enough after school activities, and that as a parent I should be more outgoing.
Never a fan of scheduling my children to participate in numerous after school and extracurricular activities, I have worked to keep afternoons following school quiet, and weekends sacred. We generally sleep in on Saturdays, and almost never go out of town, or attend weekend activities.
Watching my eldest graduate this spring when so many of her peers failed at doing so alleviated many of my doubts about this low-key approach.
For many of them the obstacle to completing college in four years, as she had done, rested with extremely busy schedules that interfered with their studies--off campus jobs, and extracurricular activities both on, and away from campus.
The author of a recent article in Harvard Magazine, a Crimson undergraduate, lamented the lure of participation in activities not related to studies and expressed the need for professors to demand, as one did with him, that students give more time to their academics.
Simplifying my children's lives that revolves around a manageable schedule with adequate time wherein to do their homework, and have moments to read, listen to music or simply take a nap has not been easy. Neither have I always succeeded in reducing the anxiety provoking stress I so detest. At times I have in fact been guilty of creating the very thing I rail against, over-booking.
Fortunately, my love for moments wherein their lies no need to watch the clock have formed a pole star whose trail I have diligently sought to follow despite my insecurities.
During dinner on our girls' night out this Labor Day Weekend, my middle daughter said "I really like that you've let us just check out at times, rather than keeping us on the go. It gave me time to rest. I needed that."
My heart melted.
This daughter, who exudes more energy than all of us combined, has on so many occasions complained of being bored, feeling as though life was passing her by, and demanded to know why I lack the energy to do more things like other parents. During the worst of these incidents she has accused me of not loving her.
Now a high school junior, and quite aware of the importance colleges attach to the grades she achieves this year, she as become a stalwart planner, ever seeking to ensure she does not take on too many tasks.
It is not easy being a parent. So much waits for our children to learn, and experience. As their first, and primary teachers we parents feel obligated to expose them to as much as possible. Yet sometimes the best lesson we can provide is to exemplify what my grandmother used to say, "Take you time, Tillie. Take your time."
About the Author
Anjuelle Floyd is a wife of 28 years, and a mother of three daughters, ages 10 years, 17 years and 21 years.
A licensed psychotherapist, she is the author of the author of Keeper of SecretsTranslations of an Incident, a collection of short stories.
Her novel, The House, was published in 2009.
Anjuelle hosts the weekly blog talk radio show, Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters @ http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anjuellefloyd
Visit Anjuelle's blog http://anjuellefloyd.com
One truth begets
another as a tale of passionate
confrontation in a restaurant travels from
eyewitnesses to others present.
Each protagonist views the
attack through an emotion-stained
lens, the story taking on a life of its own
as filtered through different
individuals' pasts, present and futures.
Ultimately every character
unweaves and re-braids their hidden truths
and exposes the chain of inner mysteries
that binds them.