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The Hurry Up Guy

Becoming a parent has brought me love.

Becoming a parent has brought joy.

Becoming a parent has brought me a little “Hurry Up Guy” who sits on my shoulder and screams in my ear ALL THE TIME.

He sounds like this:

Hurry up!
We have to go!
Vamanos!
Let’s get a move on!
We’re late! We’re late! We’re late!
Fall in line!
Let’s go!
What’s taking you so long!
You need to make haste!
Why are you moving SO SLOooooooow?!
You have 5 minutes to get there before you are LATE!
Late!
You’ll be late!
Late, late, late!!
Come on! Go!
Move it!
We have to be somewhere!
CAN’T YOU GO ANY FASTER?!

It makes me crazy. Bat. Shit. Crazy.

That damn Hurry Up Guy makes my heart pound and my blood pressure rise…and not in a good way. More like in an annoying, oh-my-God-I’ve-got-to-go-faster-and-faster-and-faster-I’m-going-so-fast-I’m-probably-burning-tons-of-calories, kind of way. He makes me sweat and freak out and scream at everyone around me to hurry the hell up!

Why don’t my kids have the Hurry Up Guy on their shoulders? They’re the ones who need him. They need someone (besides me) to scream at them to get off the couch and to get in the damn car so that we aren’t late for school AGAIN. They need someone to light a fire under their butts. They need to be the ones who wildly shriek the words, “Let’s go everyone! Hurry!!”

I didn’t even know the Hurry Up Guy was part of the package when I kids. I had no idea. No one told me. Sure, I’m somewhat familiar with the little fella. I’ve had him perched on my shoulder at other times in my life. But he usually just stays for a quick visit; just for an event that I need to get to. Then he skedaddles. But now the Hurry Up Guy is like a house guest that just WON’T LEAVE! He is ALWAYS there.

The real kicker is that he screams in my ear even when I don’t need to be hurrying. Like, sometimes I have nowhere I NEED to be, but still the little guy is screaming “hurry up!!” I try to take a deep breath and remember that I don’t have to be hurrying right now. I don’t need to be in fast motion. Or do I? I’m so used to spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil that slowing down usually just means that I’m forgetting something. At least that is what the Hurry Up Guy tells me it means. He’s sort of a jerk that way.

I want the Hurry Up Guy to go on a vacation. Or take a long walk off a short pier. Or to go pound sand.

I want the Simon & Garfunkel guy on my shoulder instead.

I want the Slow Down You Move Too Fast guy.

The I Got No Deeds To Do, No Promises To Keep guy.

I’m Dappled and Drowsy and Ready to Sleep guy.

I want to let the morning time drop all its petals on me.

Life, I love you, all is groovy.

Because, seriously, life is WAY too groovy to just be hurrying through it from one thing to the next. With a weird little guy sitting on your shoulder.

See ya later, Hurry Up Guy! I’m going to go watch some flowers growing.

Doot-in’ doo-doo,
Feelin’ groovy.

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The Best Thing

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The best thing that happened to me in the days leading up to Christmas this year was getting pulled over by a state trooper. Seriously. That was the best thing. But not because everything else was somehow so bad that getting pulled over was awesome by comparison. Not at all. Everything was great. Fabulous. Spectacular even. At least…I think it was. I was kind of too busy to notice. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas blurred by and I was in fast motion trying to get everything done that I had convinced myself I needed to get done. I tried to enjoy the season when I could, in bits and spurts here and there. I was vaguely aware of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and pine cones and holly berries scattered about. And I did notice that even the street lights blinked a bright red and green…but that was about it. I wasn’t really enjoying it. I was just sort of watching it happen. At one point I even came to the conclusion that Christmas carols were annoying and that Charlie Brown was such a downer he could seriously use a solid six months on a strong anti-depressant. So the day before Christmas Eve as I was barreling down the road heading home from the mall with two of my kids in the car, the only things on my mind were all the things I still had to do. And then I got pulled over. The blue lights went on and I was like, shit! I’m getting pulled over! Ugh, I don’t have time for this! But, like it or not, I pulled my car over to the side of the road. It was a pretty typical pull-over as far as pull-overs go. She asked for my license and registration, and I handed them over. Then she walked back to her car and I sat there waiting to get arrested for murder. (I’ve never murdered anyone, by the way. But for some reason I always think that there will be some weird mistaken identity situation and I’ll be arrested for a murder I didn’t commit, Shawshank Redemption-style.) So as I’m sitting there mentally wondering if, before I’m cuffed and stuffed, she’ll let me make a phone call to my husband to come get the kids, or if they’ll instantly become wards of the state, and then wondering if I’ll get a jail cell to myself and if the bed will be comfortable enough for me to take a nap, and then thinking that taking a nap in a nice quiet cell sounds pretty great… she walked back to my car and told me why she had pulled me over: “You need to slow down.” (So, I won’t be napping in a jail cell, then?) She wasn’t all Mother Goose about it, of course. She wasn’t patting my hand and being all sweet like, “oh, honey, I know you are in a rush, but slow and steady wins the race, don’t ya know.” No. She pretty much told it to me straight, “You’re going too fast. You have kids in the car. There was a mac truck next to you. You need to slow down.” She was right of course. And she was nice enough not to give me a ticket for it, which I thanked her for. But I should have thanked her for more. This officer cared enough about me, enough about my kids, and enough about the other drivers on the road to pull me over and tell me to slow down. She had no way of knowing if I was a lunatic (I had just come from Christmas shopping at the mall after all). She had no way of knowing if she was going to get hit by an out of control car as she stood by my window on the side of the highway. She put her safety aside to ensure my safety. That’s huge. That’s amazing. I should have thanked her for that, but I didn’t. I regret that I didn’t. I hope that the next person did. That person up the road whose car had broken down and who I saw her pull over to help. I hope he thanked her for what she did, and for what she does every day to keep us safe. And as for me? Well, I slowed down. And sang Christmas carols (loudly, and off key) the whole ride home. (I still think Charlie Brown would benefit from some therapy, though.)