Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Pace Car


Growing up my father was a mechanic and a weekend race car driver. For many years of my life I grew up on the race track and hung with the "Pit Crew" Being a race car driver is something I wanted to be as a child. I still get excited hearing loud engines and screaming fans.

Before every race the Pace Car limits the speed of the other cars. With few exceptions, competitors do not pass the pace car or other competitors during the period where the pace car is on the track. At the end of this period, the pace car leaves the track and the competitors resume racing.

As I was laying nursing Ivy this morning, I thought of how the pace of life with my children is very much like the race track. We all take turns being the pace car and setting the speed and tone of each moment that comes our way. It is a give and take that when we recognize how important it is to allow one another the role of being the "pace person", life goes much more smoothly.

As I was nursing her I was feeling anxious because I wanted to get back downstairs to have my coffee and check my email and pick up the house before everyone woke up. I was cranked up energetically, but she was desiring a pace that was quite the opposite. She wanted to lay, cuddle and stay in this slow pace for her moment of time with me before she dozed off again. I began thinking about how important it was on my motherhood path to surrender to and embrace others being the Pace Car and allow myself to be guided by the speed in which they need to live in the moment.

As I lay with her this morning I realized how this was all part of my Mothering Responsibility. It was my responsiblity to meet my children's needs, not just physically and emotionally, but in every ounce of who I am. Switching gears and shifting down is such an important part of my responsibility to my children. There are also times when I have to shift upward, but those seem to come much easier to me in who I am as a person.

Sharing the role of the Pace-Car is so important as a mother. Enjoying the pace at which my children set our moments, rather than just going through the motions has kicked it up a notch in my fulfilment as a parent too. Taking a deep breath, and knowing that we are *Here, Now* and nothing has to get done, there is no where I need to be but with them at whatever pace they choose in that moment.

When I notice that I need to down-shift to be fully present with my children, I take a deep breath and kiss their skin, or smell their hair. I smile at them and feel their energy and the pace at which they need me to be with them in the moment and I let go...

When they have the steering wheel and gearstick in their hands I enjoy the ride around the track. It's their turn to be the Pace Car. I crank my seat back and enjoy the wind in my hair...

6 comments:

Dina said...

wow - this was the perfect post for me to read today...thank you :)

Bonnie said...

love this dayna!

Kendrah said...

The other day my daughter, son and I were leaving my daughter's dance class. I noticed as we walked out the door my son was lagging behind. I turned around and opened my mouth to say "C'mon buddy we need to go" when I noticed he was smelling the flowers planted right outside the door. He literally stopped to smell the flowers. My children are so wonderful at reminding me to slow down, stay present, and for goodness sakes, never pass up an opportunity to stop and smell the flowers. Needless to say I didn't take away his moment, let him set the pace, and we walked back over to smell them with him. :)

Lisa said...

That is a beautiful analogy, a great way to put it into words, well done. Once again, thank you, Dayna.

16 blessings'mom said...

Dayna, I love the way you put it! Motherhood is a time for sacrifice, and it pays back a hundred-fold. Sometimes that big "I want" in the mommy just has to go!

Christy said...

Dayna-
I love this! There are many times when I have to remind myself to be free of the anxiety of what I feel needs to be done, or even what I want to do at that moment when my children have a different agenda...
Thank you for this reminder to stay present with my family and be the mother that they need.