Recently, I attended a performance downtown with one of the girls. As we were making the obligatory trek to the car afterwards, my daughter was moving significantly faster than I was along the city sidewalks. I enjoyed watching her leap ahead of me. Apparently, though, she wasn’t enjoying it as much as I was, because at one point she turned around and said with exasperation, “Mom! Can you walk any slower?”
Well. It was intended as sarcasm, but still I got the point: I don’t move as fast as I used to.
I used to walk fast, as I suppose most young people do. After all, knowing that in 5 or 6 minutes a bell will ring, and you’ll be in trouble if you haven’t reached your destination, can put a little speed into your step, for sure. I remember needing to consciously slow myself down when I was walking with someone who didn’t have quite my speed or urgency.
I think I began to slow down once I had kids. I remember walking with three young kids to parades and vacation destinations, as my husband would turn around frequently to ask if I couldn’t speed up. That felt strange, because usually I was fast.
I remember walking my oldest daughter’s first high school schedule with her before school started. She covered the high school halls faster than I did, to the point that I really had to concentrate to keep up. Again, it was strange: the tables had turned, and I wasn’t the fast walker anymore.
Why did I slow down? I’m sure age plays a role. When we’re teens, we just don’t realize that we possess all that energy, until we don’t.
And also, as adults we have the … luxury … of moving slower, as well — usually. No one at the grocery store has ever told me to hurry up.
Can I walk any slower? Maybe — and some days, it feels nice to try.