Being on Becca Time…


My two year old daughter and I began a new tradition yesterday…the Mama-Becca Post-Christmas Shopping Expedition. While it might be easy to lambast this as rampant consumerism, or an eagerness to spend money we don’t have, the truth of the matter is that it was an opportunity for me to continue to get to know this bubbly, delightful little person and to spend time learning from her, in her presence.

What you don’t know about me is that I have three children – two sons ages 19 and 5, and my daughter, Rebecca, who is almost three. My sons are wonderful, interesting people in their own right – and you’ll hear about them in future posts. My daughter is my only girl, and because of the issues her 5-year old brother has (autism and oppositional defiant disorder), she tends to not get as much attention as I would like her to get. Thus, the inaugural  “Mommy-Becca Girls’ Day Out.”

We began our day at Starbucks – another tradition I do with both kids every weekend. Becca wanted chocolate milk and a fruit cup – even as a toddler/pre-schooler, she tends to go for fruit, bagels, and healthier foods over doughnuts (unlike her brothers!). Now, eating for Becca is not like eating for other people…most of us gulp down our food and rush on to the next thing. Not Becca…she has to talk about each bite, taste it, squish her fingers through it…thoroughly and completely KNOW her food before it hits her stomach.

Most days, I’m in a rush – I’ll fully admit that. I learned from Becca this day, though…being on Becca Time means that I can really TASTE my food, and notice the artwork in our local Starbuck’s. It means I can learn the names of the workers, and discover that one – Lacey – knits likes me. I get to see Becca learn about other people…that if you smile at someone, chances are it brings a smile to their face. If you say “hi” and smile, it’s that much better!

Being on Becca Time means slowing down, and savoring the life in front of me. It means really LOOKING at things I normally don’t even notice, like the granite in the countertops (“Is the table made of rock, Mommy?”), the colors in the lights above us (“Look – they’re orange!”), or the shapes of the mirrors and tables (“I see circles and squares! Wow!”)

Being on Becca Time means taking a day to explore the world in front of my face, and not being in a hurry to check the next task off my list. It means appreciating the little things, and more importantly, noticing them to start with.

Usually when I go out with my kids, we’ll spend an hour or two at Starbuck’s and one or two other places…yesterday was different. We were out all day (11 – 6:30!), and pretty much did the things we usually do – have our morning Starbuck’s run, go to the bookstore, and maybe one or two other places. However, this time, we went at Becca’s pace, and I noticed things I’d never noticed before; I think I’d like to be on Becca Time more often. I’m not sure who got more out of this outing, her or me, but I know we were both blessed with this wonderful gift of a day together.

Books I’m reading:

“The Traveler” (Daren & Daniel Simkin, 2008) – about a boy who tries to save time in order to spend it on “something perfect”

“Life is a Verb” (Patti Digh, 2008) – what if you only had 37 days left to live? What would you, and how would you spend your time? Inspired by her incredible blog, “37 days”: