We’re fortunate to be joined for two weeks by my sister, who is kicking off her Summer away from her teacherly duties to spend time with her nieces (and their parents). It’s a true gift, especially as we navigate the adventure of trying to feed an infant who does not want to eat while her mother is away for 14 hours at a time. Plus, my sister is smart and perceptive, and loves to listen to me go on and on talking about myself.
What I’m noticing is how much she enjoys life here. Not because it’s actually exciting (believe me…), but because she chooses to enjoy it. Yesterday while I was grilling some pork tenderloin and veggies, she sat at a tiny picnic table to mold Playdough and have an imaginary tea party with Ella, complete with animated if unintelligible conversation. If I were engaging in those activities, I’d be champing at the bit, anxious about some yearned-for place of productivity. Which is ridiculous, and the least productive task of all: trying to hurry through anyone’s childhood– and especially my own daughter’s– is pure insanity.
So rather than only leaning on my sister for the next ten days, I’m hoping to learn from her: to slow down, and smile, and listen, and enjoy. It’s downward mobility, and it is deeply subversive. Such a life is not only redemptive for the world and repentant of our culture, but even more it is sacramental– a means of transformative grace.