“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
Did we remember backpacks? Snacks and lunches? Water bottles and homework? Checking and double-checking for all the day’s essentials. Making sure that we get from point A to point B on time, or as close as possible. I feel the daily pressure of hurry as I shuttle my keiki out the door each day on our way to school or activities.
Sometimes I think that we as a culture have forgotten the value of waiting, of slowing down, of being present in the not-knowing, needing-to-wait parts of our days. But then, there’s Summer: an opportunity for slowing down and embracing the extra time. Summer often means less structure because school is out and there’s more downtime.
Growing up in Haiku, I looked forward all school year long to the days of summer. They represented freedom. Freedom from taking the bus to school each day, and instead ride my bike along our street with the neighbor kids. Freedom to play in the pastures by our house, to explore beaches and to hike with my ‘ohana.
We couldn’t afford big summer trips off-island so we embraced home life. We helped aunties and uncles harvest fruit and clean lo’i at our ohana’s farm. Then afterward, we’d dip in the frigid stream water, building dams and creating deeper pools to enjoy together. Sometimes we would watch a movie or play cribbage on my dad’s prized game board, after washing dinner dishes by hand with my sisters.
Here are a few of our ‘ohana’s favorite ways to beat boredom and embrace slow living.
- Leisurely walks around the neighborhood, can include bikes or skateboards with helmets.
- Plan a special dinner night once a week where your keiki picks the meal, helps shop, and preps the food.
- Tackle house projects that have been set aside during busier times. For example, help each keiki sort through their clothes and toys for donation.
- Craft together. This can be so simple, like foraging for rocks and shells and sticks and building little imaginative play spaces.
- Learn a new skill together like fishing, sewing, painting, lei making, and cooking from a member of your own ‘ohana or community.
- Bake cookies for your neighbors and friends and check in on them.
- Technology-free days to embrace quiet time together.
- Outdoor picnics. My keiki love to eat outside in the sunshine and we do picnics frequently in our yard.
Maile Crewdson is a local mom of three young keiki with life-threatening food allergies. Born and raised in upcountry Maui, Maile embraces motherhood wholeheartedly, in its beauty and challenges. Find her online at @littlemauifamily and @cyrusbakingco.