As a (formerly) super-powered, special needs family, living life to the fullest in the Big City, we’re thrilled to slow down to a quieter life in Smalltown, Ontario – nearly two hours from our original home.
The sprawling traffic that chokes the Greater Toronto Area is now something we watch with bemusement on TV, then turn and look out the front window at the utter lack of traffic Smalltown life brings. Seniors walking small dogs, the occasional car, or boat on a trailer, and there was the one time someone left a popcan on the side of the road – and that’s about it.
When I think of the insane pace of our city lives – two parents trying to co-ordinate work, childcare, and the endless appointments our very special needs bring (See the Busy, Busy Month of May for more on this one) I’m amazed we survived at all. Go on, hurry up, we’re late! was our mantra. And this doesn’t really work for small children with no concept of time. Late for what? For a child the future doesn’t really exist and the time of a healthcare professional was of no importance to them.
And honestly, that’s as it should be.
For our family, the continual near crisis state of medical and therapist intervention means that the healthcare bumps we all experience (and are traumatic to some folks) don’t mean that much to them. Recently a medical misadventure that found six year old Mr. Sensitive and I sitting in a waiting room for a few hours meant nothing more to him than he had my undivided attention and unlimited supply of Bill Nye the Science Guy on YouTube. (thank you iPhone;) He has a great time.
And time is what we now have. City life, long commutes and longer line-ups eat up the minutes and hours of your day. I’d arrive home from work exhausted, whip up a meal, feed and bathe the kids, then collapse into bed only to do it all again.
Now I’m in a community with most of the things we need in walking distance, so while Hubby takes the van to work in the next town (only a 10 minute commute), the Dunk and walk to our local preschool program, visit the library and pick up groceries. We’re usually home by lunchtime.
More time and a slower pace mean the kids are better rested, meals are actually tasty and planned, and we’re all happier. More time, less stress means we do the things we love – visiting friends and family, community outings, and extracurricular activities for the kids. You can see us in action in Thankful and Tree planting.
And that’s time well spent.
How does your family survive the crunch for time? How do you manage or prioritize?